Cracks show in China boom

China showed signs of spluttering domestic demand yesterday as imports crumbled to their lowest in more than two years and bank lending came in 75 per cent weaker than expected.

The data signalled economic growth, at a two-and-a-half-year low of 8.9 per cent in the final quarter of 2011, could be slowing more dramatically than expected. Analysts predicted the data, though skewed by Lunar New Year holidays, would see the government make fresh moves to bolster growth.

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