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China's growth slows to 7% in the first quarter

April 15, 2015 6:03 pm

China’s economic growth slowed further in the three months to March this year, expanding 7% compared to a year earlier, its slowest pace since the global financial crisis in 2009.

The rate was lower than the 7.3% posted for the three months to December.

Last year, China’s economy, which is the world’s second largest, grew at its slowest pace since 1990.

It expanded by 7.4% in 2014, missing its annual growth target of 7.5% for the first time in 15 years.

Despite the slowdown, the Chinese economy was still one of the world’s fastest-growing and analysts have said it was proving to be more resilient than expected.

However, they have also said that slower growth, together with the country’s cooling property market – a key economic driver – was likely to mean further easing by China’s central bank this year, including further rate cuts among other measures.

In February the People’s Bank of China unexpectedly cut interest rates for the second time since last November.

Interest rate cuts together with injections of liquidity are some of the tools Beijing uses to fine tune its economic growth.