China Q1 GDP Growth Slows to 8.1Pct04-13 11:11 Caijing
The growth of Chinese economy slowed to an unexpected two-year low in the first quarter this year, government data showed, building case for more easing in the world’s second-largest economy.
The gross domestic product (GDP) grew 8.1 percent year on year in the first three months, the Statistic Bureau said on Friday.
That compares with an 8.9 percent increase in the country’s GDP in the fourth quarter of 2011, and also falls short of a consensus forecast of 8.4 percent.
The growth remained “moderate and relatively fast” compared with other countries, according to NBS Spokesman Sheng Laiyun, as he announced the figure.
Beijing has set its growth target at 7.5 percent for 2012, the first time to bring the figure below 8 percent, as it tries to slow down the engine to tackle inflation and engineer a “soft landing.”
The new GDP figure adds to signs of a slowing economy entering 2012, with March’s producer price index, a wider range of indicator at the wholesale level for inflation hit a 28-month low, while other economic data for January and February, including growth of industrial companies’ profits, posted big losses.
The first two months also saw zero growth in constructions of new homes, showing few green shots in China’s property sector amid Beijing’s effort to prickle housing bubbles.
The priority to “stabilize inflation” should give way to “stabilizing growth”, said Shen Jianguang, a Hong Kong –based economist for Mizuo Securities Asia Ltd,.
The 670 million U.S. dollars in trade surplus for March, among the new data extensively released this week, should be the largest relieve compared with previous month’s huge deficit of 7.3 billion.
However surprising, it could hardly cheer up the market, since China has for years delivered double-digit growth in trades, according to Xin Ming, a professor at the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party.
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