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Data points to stability

Chinese economy slows, but is better than feared

China’s economy is growing at its slowest rate since 2009, although it has confirmed recent forecasts that it is in better shape than some feared.

Gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 6.7% in the first quarter against 6.8% in the previous three months.

Factory activity, investment and household spending have all picked up and have been key factors in the recent upturn in global stock markets as investors’ worries have eased about the state of the world’s second largest economy.

Despite the data being slightly better than expected, analysts are cautioning against claims that the economy is back on an upward curve. The growth last quarter was the slowest for seven years and there is broadly held scepticism about the reliability of the data.

“Downward pressures” exist which have led to lay-offs and workers being moved to lower-paying government jobs.

 

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