16 Apr 2013

China economy slowing

5:32 am on 16 April 2013

China's economy has slowed and performed worse than many analysts expected in the first three months of the year.

Annual growth was 7.7% in the January to March quarter, compared with 7.9% in the previous three months. Analysts had forecast a figure closer to 8%.

Other key data on Monday also came in lower than market expectations, raising questions over the outlook for growth.

The BBC reports industrial output rose 8.9% in March from a year earlier, much lower than analysts' targets of 10%.

Meanwhile, fixed asset investment rose at an annual rate 20.9% in the first three months of year. Analysts had expected growth of more than 21%.

Over the past few years, China has relied heavily on its exports and investment spending to maintain a strong pace of growth.

However, its exports have weakened as economic growth in its key markets such as the United States and Europe has slowed.

Beijing has acknowledged this and has indicated that it wants to increase domestic demand to reduce its dependence on exports and achieve more sustainable growth.