China revises down 2014 economic growth

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China on Monday revised down its economic growth for 2014 to 7.3 per cent, amid growing concern over the slowing of the world’s second-largest economy.

Earlier calculations had put the growth in gross domestic product (GDP) for 2014 at 7.4 per cent, already the weakest annual expansion in 24 years.

A few hours after the midday announcement, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closed 2.52 per cent down, in its first trading day since Wednesday due to public holidays.

The drop occurred despite strong statements from China’s central bank on Saturday saying the financial markets are “expected to become more stable”.

The bank also said government intervention has prevented a market freefall and the impact on the real economy is limited.

Economist Fang Fang of the People’s University in Beijing said stock markets are likely to “keep falling steadily whether or not the government undertakes further rescue efforts.”

The National Bureau of Statistics calculates each year’s GDP three times: a preliminary calculation, followed by the preliminary verification and then the final verification.

A final confirmation of 2014 GDP growth could come in January 2016, the bureau said.

Analysts say China is struggling to meet its growth target for 2015 of about 7 per cent amid sluggish investment growth and falling exports.

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