China's current economic growth is likely below the 6 percent level amid faltering domestic demand, an economist said Tuesday.
Recent signals about the world's second-largest economy point to weaker growth, including tech giant Apple recently lowering revenue guidance for the first quarter as it blamed a variety of factors including Chinese demand. And, on Monday, Hong Kong-listed automaker Geely said it missed its sales target in 2018 and was forecasting flat sales in 2019.
"It's intriguing that the domestic demand part is the weak part — the external demand is not that bad," said Taimur Baig, chief economist at DBS Group Research.
"Particularly weak" domestic demand was possibly signaling structural changes in the Chinese economy, Baig told CNBC's "Capital Connection."
For its part, DBS forecasts China's GDP growth to be "sub-6 percent" currently, Baig said.
Last year, China reported economic growth of 6.5 percent in the third quarter — marking its weakest pace since the global financial crisis. Still, the country's official growth target for 2018 was around 6.5 percent.
While official data indicated China's economy held up for much of last year, it now appears to be slowing as production metrics and export orders fall amid the country's trade dispute with the U.S., its largest trading partner.