China’s Q2 GDP growth slows (Lead)July 13th, 2012 - 2:49 pm ICT by IANS
Beijing, July 13 (IANS) China’s economy expanded 7.6 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2012, slowing from 8.1 percent in the first quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Friday.
The figure, which marked the sixth consecutive quarter of decline, revealed the slowest growth pace since the third quarter of 2009 and was within market expectation of below 8 percent, reported Xinhua.
On a quarterly basis, the country’s economy grew 1.8 percent in the second quarter, NBS spokesperson Sheng Laiyun said at a press conference.
According to preliminary statistics, the country’s GDP grew 7.8 percent year-on-year to reach 22.71 trillion yuan ($3.6 trillion) during the first half, Sheng said.
“The weakening GDP growth was mainly due to falling fixed-asset investment, difficult operations in domestic small and medium-sized enterprises and slackened external demand,” said Wang Jun, a researcher at the China Center for International Economic Exchange.
Given the sluggish external market and global economic woes, China lowered its full-year growth target for 2012 to 7.5 percent in early March, after its economy grew 9.2 percent year-on-year last year.
The GDP data headlined a flurry of indicators published Friday signalling that the world’s second-largest economy is slowing, boosting investor expectations of continued policy action to support growth.
Sheng reiterated the government’s top priority of stabilizing growth as the country faces increasing downward pressure.
“The government will give higher priority to stabilizing growth, and continue to strengthen and improve macro-control to promote the steady and relatively fast economic growth,” the spokesperson said.
The other indicators published Friday showed first-half industrial value-added output rose 10.5 percent year-on-year, down from 11.6-percent increase seen in the first quarter.
Retail sales increased 14.4 percent from one year earlier in the first half, slower than the 14.8-percent growth registered in the first quarter.
Fixed-asset investment, one of the principal drivers of China’s economy, grew 20.4 percent year-on-year to 15.07 trillion yuan. The growth rate moderated by 0.5 percentage point compared to that in the first quarter, and was down 5.2 percentage points from the same period last year.
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