Chinese economy slows to 14-year low at 7.7% in 2013
China's economy growing at its slowest pace in 14 years as Beijing tries to rebalance
China's economy, the second largest in the world, grew at its slowest pace in 14 years in 2013, official figures show.
China's gross domestic product (GDP) slowed slightly to 7.7 per cent in the fourth quarter, from 7.8 per cent in the previous quarter, according to newly released data by China's National Bureau of Statistics.
The Chinese economy grew 7.7 per cent in 2013, the weakest since 1999, matching the revised figure for 2012, and beating the government's target of 7.5 per cent.
The bureau said the "overall national economic performance showed good momentum of stable and moderate growth" but warned that the "fundamentals of the economy are still not stable".
The World Bank expects the Chinese economy to stay flat at 7.7 per cent in 2014 as Beijing looks to move away from borrowing and policy-induced investment to more sustainable, consumption-led growth.
"We expect the growth momentum to be maintained over in the coming year thanks to the improving external outlook, ongoing reform measures designed to boost private investment and consumption," said HSBC in a note to clients.
The International Monetary Fund has forecast China's growth this year at 7.6 per cent but some forecasters say a figure as low as 7.2 per cent is in the cards.
Societe Generale analyst Wei Yao said: "The growth momentum has started to weaken and we expect more deceleration ahead, as policymakers have moved to rein in credit growth."
The latest evidence of a slowdown comes after Chinese authorities released new guidelines calling for tighter regulation of bank's off balance sheet lending and trust companies in a bid to curb the nation's shadow banking system. Total debt in the economy has risen to around 200 per cent of GDP, up from 120 per cent six year ago.
Chinese inflation fell to its lowest level in seven months in December at 2.5 per cent, driven by a decline in food prices.
- 1 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 2 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 3 What color is The Dress, white and gold or blue and black? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
- 5 Fearne Cotton quits Radio 1 after ten years for 'family and new adventures'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is shot dead
Leonard Nimoy dead: Star Trek actor dies after suffering lung disease
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin, says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
What color is The Dress, white and gold or blue and black? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...
£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...
£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...