China's economy slowed to its weakest pace of expansion in six quarters in the first three months of this year but growth was still slightly above market expectations.
Growth between January and March on the same period a year earlier was 7.4% according to Beijing’s national statistics bureau, down from 7.7% in the final quarter of 2013. Analysts had forecast growth of 7.3%.
Total fixed-asset investment rose by 17.6% on a year earlier, down from 18.2% in the final quarter of last year. Industrial production and construction grew by 7.3%, down from 7.8% previously. Services growth was 7.8%, down from 8.1% at the end of last year.
The Chinese government has declared its intention to shift from investment-led growth to consumption and to rein in easy credit which has driven total private debt in the world’s second largest economy to more than 200% of GDP.