Published On: Fri, May 11th, 2012

Chinese economy slowing faster than predicted

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Data for April shows sharper than expected declines in investment and industrial production.
 
China’s economy is slowing down further, national figures suggest, with data for April showing sharper than expected declines in investment and industrial production.

A reading of the latest data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Friday suggests more aggressive action may be needed to get the world’s second-largest economy back on track, economists said.

In particular, industrial production rose 9.3 per cent from a year earlier in April, slowing from a nearly 12 per cent increase in March.

However, the data also showed inflation eased to 3.4 per cent in April from 3.6 per cent the month before, giving the government greater leeway to ease policy to boost growth.

“China’s economy is even weaker than thought, with industrial production growth back in single digits for the first time since the global financial crisis and electricity production flat lining,” Alistair Thornton of IHS Global Insight said.

“We believe the government will step up efforts to stimulate the economy, even as genuine concerns remain regarding the very real possibility of over-stimulating,” he said.

China’s economy grew 8.1 per cent in the first quarter of the year, a still robust rate but its slowest pace since 2009. It was below the previous quarter’s 8.9 per cent, but above the government’s 7.5 per cent target for the year.

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