China’s gross domestic product grew 7.4 percent in the first quarter from the same period last year, easing from a 7.7 percent expansion in the first three months of 2013 and for the full year, data released Wednesday by the National Bureau of Statistics showed. It was also below the government’s target of 7.5 percent this year.
Last year, government officials said the economy should change from an investment-led growth to one driven by consumption. Fixed asset investment increased 17.6 percent in the first three months, easing from 17.9 percent in the first two months and down from 19.6 percent last year.
Meanwhile, retail sales climbed 12 percent, accelerating from an 11.8 percent expansion in the first two months. For March alone, the growth was 12.2 percent, far below the 13.7 percent peak recorded last year.
Value-added industrial production gained 8.7 percent in the first quarter, falling 0.8 percentage point from the same period last year. In March, it grew 8.8 percent from a year earlier, improving from 8.6 percent expansion in the January-February period.
Growth in property development investment slid 2.5 percentage points to 16.8 percent, compared with 19.3 percent in the first two months and 19.8 percent a year earlier.
In the recent National People’s Congress plenum, the central government did not give as much emphasis on property curbs as in previous years, but said it will adopt a differential housing control measures based on the local conditions in different regions and provide more commercial and affordable homes to meet the demand.
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