Date
30 March 2017
The Chinese flag flies against a backdrop of window cleaners on a Hong Kong skyscraper. China's economy is officially on a downturn. Photo: Reuters
The Chinese flag flies against a backdrop of window cleaners on a Hong Kong skyscraper. China's economy is officially on a downturn. Photo: Reuters

It’s official: China growth slowest in 25 years

China’s economy is losing steam, according to official data released Tuesday which shows gross domestic product (GDP) growth at the slowest pace in 25 years.

GDP expanded 6.9 percent year over year in 2015, down from a 7.3 percent gain in 2014, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing the National Bureau of Statistics. 

The figure is in line with a median 6.9 percent increase forecast by 15 economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.

On Saturday, Premier Li Keqiang said the economy had grown “around 7 percent”, Reuters reported.

The statistics bureau said GDP grew 6.8 percent on year in the fourth quarter, edging down from 6.9 percent in the third quarter of 2015.

In the fourth quarter, it grew 1.6 percent from the previous quarter on a seasonally adjusted basis compared with 1.8 percent in the third quarter.

The loss of momentum in the world’s second largest economy continues to chill global activity and spook markets worldwide.

Nevertheless, the 2015 data is likely to enable policymakers in Beijing to claim that the economy expanded in line with an official target of around 7 percent, helped by rate cuts and stimulus measures aimed at propping up growth.

Doubts have been raised about the reliability of China’s economic data, with many economists suggesting growth has been slower.

Fears over Beijing’s handling of the stalling economy have combined with concerns over plunging oil and commodity prices to pull down nervous global stock markets since the start of 2016.

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