The Chinese economy, increasingly seen as the saviour of global economic well-being, grew by a less-than-expected 9.1 per cent in the third quarter, prompting fears that the world's second-largest economy may badly affected by the effects of slowdown in the US and Europe's debt crisis. Gross domestic product grew by 9.1 per cent in the three months to 30 September from a year earlier, down from 9.5 per cent in the previous quarter.
This marks a significant slowdown from the double-digit growth rates of the past three decades, and shows that moves to control inflation are muffling growth.
The slowdown is most keenly felt in China's economic powerhouse, the Yangtze River delta, where much of the world's finished goods are produced. In a sign of official concern about foreign demand, Premier Wen Jiabao is visiting the region to try to support activity.