BEIJING, July 12 (UPI) -- China said Friday growth fell to a three-year low of 7.6 percent in the second quarter, raising concerns the world's second-largest economy is slowing down.
The second-quarter results compared with a first quarter GDP growth of 8.1 percent year-on-year, the National Bureau of Statistics said Friday.
Earlier, the official Xinhua news agency had quoted analysts as expecting a growth rate of less than 8 percent in the second quarter because of lackluster demand both at home and abroad.
China Daily said the latest 7.6 percent growth was the lowest since the first quarter of 2009 at the height of the global financial crisis.
The National Bureau of Statistics said the country's economic growth in the first half of this year was 7.8 percent, to $3.56 trillion.
The report said China's manufacturing, foreign trade and investment have been slowing this year, triggering worries about a hard landing of its economy, China Daily said.
The role of the Chinese economy has become more important because of the Eurozone crisis and the fact that the United States is still on the way to recovery, while emerging economies such as India and Brazil are also slowing down.
China's central bank has cut interest rates twice this year to stabilize growth.
CNN said while the 7.6 growth is still impressive compared to the 2 percent in the United States, it is nowhere near the average of 10 percent China has enjoyed in the past three decades.
China is the United States' third-largest customer for exports, after Canada and Mexico, and many American companies are relying on strong sales to China to strengthen their growth, CNN reported.
China's inflation, as reported earlier, eased to a 29-month low of 2.2 percent in June, mainly because of falling food prices. This should allow the government to introduce more pro-growth measures to boost the slowing economy.
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