China’s economy in the third quarter grew at its slowest pace in five years as it struggles with a deflating property market, weak domestic demand and faltering manufacturing.
The economy still remained within the "reasonable range" set by policymakers, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Tuesday.
GDP (gross domestic product expanded) 7.3 % from a year ago in the third quarter, compared with 7.5 % in the second quarter and 7.4 % in the first quarter of this year, the NBS data showed.
Today's results suggest that China will miss its annual growth target for the first time since 1998, during the Asian financial crisis. Chinese leaders have signalled that their target is an approximate one, of about 7.5%, and that a level slightly below that figure is acceptable
The GDP growth in the July-September period marked the slowest quarterly growth since the first quarter of 2009 and was in line with market expectations.
On a quarterly basis, GDP in the third quarter was 1.9 % larger than that in the April-June period, according to the NBS.
For the first nine months, the GDP rose 7.4 % year on year to reach ¥42tn yuan (US$6.84tn).
"In general, the economy has maintained steady development momentum in the first three quarters, but the environment at home and abroad remains complex," Sheng Laiyun, the NBS spokesman, said at a press conference, citing difficulties and challenges ahead, according to Xinhua, the official news agency
Calling the slower growth a "new normal," Sheng said China will keep stable macro policies that are subject to forward-looking fine-tuning when appropriate to ensure steady and healthy economic growth.
Xinhua said the NBS spokesman saw progress in restructuring the economy in the first three quarters, with the service industry accounting for 46.7 % of the GDP, 1.2 %age points higher than the same period last year.
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