China’s economic growth held steady in the latest quarter despite a tariff war with Washington, in a reassuring sign that Beijing’s efforts to reverse a slowdown might be gaining traction.The world’s second-largest economy expanded by 6.4% over a year earlier in the three months ending in March, the government reported Wednesday. That matched the previous quarter for the weakest growth since 2009. “This confirms that China’s economic growth is bottoming out and this momentum is likely to continue,” said Tai Hui of JP Morgan Asset Management in a report.Communist leaders stepped up government spending last year and told banks to lend more after economic activity weakened, raising the risk of politically dangerous job losses. Beijing’s decision to ease credit controls aimed at reining in rising debt “is starting to yield results,” said Hui.Consumer spending, factory activity and investment all accelerated in March from the month before, the National Bureau of Statistics reported. Consumer spending, factory activity and investment in China all accelerated in March from the month beforeThe economy showed “growing positive factors,” a bureau statement said.Forecasters expect Chinese growth to bottom out and start to recover later this year. They expected a recovery last year but pushed back that time line after President Donald Trump hiked tariffs on Chinese imports over complaints about Beijing’s technology ambitions. The fight between the two biggest global economies has disrupted trade in goods from soybeans medical equipment, battering exporters on both sides and rattling financial markets.The two governments say settlement talks are making progress, but penalties on billions of dollars of each other’s goods are still in place. China’s top economic official, Premier Li Keqiang, announced an annual official growth target of 6% to 6.5% in March, down from last year’s 6.6% rate.Li warned of “rising difficulties” in the global economy and said the ruling Communist Party plans to step up deficit spending this year to shore up growth.Beijing’s stimulus measures have temporarily set back official plans to reduce reliance on debt and investment to support growth.