17 Jan 2012

China's economy slowing down

9:15 pm on 17 January 2012

China's economy, the world's second-largest, grew at its slowest pace in more than two years, according to latest government figures.

Gross domestic product expanded by 8.9% in the three months to the end of December, from a year earlier. That is down from 9.1% in the previous quarter.

The data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed that growth for the full year was 9.2%, down from 10.3% in 2010, the BBC reports.

The world's largest exporter has been hit by falling demand in Europe and the United States. Growth also slowed after the authorities took measures to curb inflation.

As the world's second largest economy, other nations have been looking to China to drive global growth.

However, with a gloomy outlook, particularly in Europe, senior Chinese officials warn that they expect a continued slowdown in the coming months.

Stimulus measures implemented by the government have created the risk of asset bubbles developing and China is looking at ways of gently slowing growth to what it sees as more sustainable levels, the BBC reports.

The measures have included a curb on lending to prevent overheating in the property and investment markets, and tightened monetary supply.

Tuesday's data showed that real estate investment in China rose 27.9% in 2011, down from an annual growth rate of 29.9% between January and November, the National Bureau of Statistics said.