Before the latest growth figures, economists had expected China's full-year growth to come in at 6.6% this year and and 6.3% next year.
Markets are being pummelled by concerns over the economy, the escalating trade standoff with the United States and an official crackdown on excess debt leveraging in the financial system.
The median forecast of economists polled by both Bloomberg and Reuters called for a 0.1 per cent drop in the GDP growth rate to 6.6 per cent in the July to September period - the lowest reading since the last quarter of 2008 when China's growth tanked in the aftermath of a global financial crisis.
Importantly, second quarter sequential growth was revised down from the previously reported 1.8%, suggesting the economy carried over less momentum into the second half than many analysts had expected.
Third-quarter expansion of fixed-asset investment, a traditional engine of growth, fell to 5.4 per cent in the January-September period, up slightly from 5.3 per cent in the January-August period, data showed.
They don't have a lot of options on the table.
As the GDP figures pointing to further slowdown of the economy were released, top government officials stepped in to reassure the Chinese public about the state of economy amid the worst stock market performance.
China's securities regulator unveiled a series of measures to aid the country's struggling stock market, which had been on a downward trajectory all year.
Chinese regulators have already sought measures to defuse risks related to shares used as collateral for loans, while the recent declines in the country's stock market have created a good buying opportunity, Liu a member of the politburo of the ruling Communist Party of China, told the People's Daily - the party mouthpiece. "I believe that investors will make a rational judgment", Liu was quoted as saying by Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post.
Retail sales in China have remained at relatively the same rates since past year, NBS said.
Shanghai's stock market has fallen by roughly a quarter this year, while the yuan has slipped about nine percent against the dollar.
Central bank governor Yi Gang said on Sunday he still sees plenty of room for adjustment in interest rates and the reserve requirement ratio (RRR).
"We expect monetary policy to remain "prudent" and fiscal policy to remain "more proactive", the note said.