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China's economic growth slips to 7.4 percent

China's economy has slowed for a seventh straight quarter, growing just 7.4 percent between July and September — the slowest pace since 2009.

China economy 2012 10 8Enlarge
This picture taken on September 26, 2012 shows workers on a scaffold at a construction site in Hefei, in central China's Anhui province. Beijing recently approved a massive infrastructure package as the government seeks to boost the flagging economy. (AFP/Getty Images)

China's economy has slowed for a seventh consecutive quarter, growing at just 7.4 percent between July and September, according to official figures.

Economic growth has been hurt by weak demand for Chinese products at home and abroad. The third-quarter growth figure was lower than the 7.6-percent growth seen in the second quarter, but was in line with expectations, the Chinese state-run Xinhua news agency said.

The release of the Q3 figures comes at a sensitive time for China. The country is just weeks away from a five-yearly Communist Party congress, and from the installation of a new leadership, with Xi Jinping expected to take the reins from President Hu Jintao. 

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Sheng Laiyun, spokesman for China's National Bureau of Statistics, told reporters that the GDP grew 7.7 percent in the first three quarters of 2012, "and the economy is generally stable," Xinhua reported.

The BBC also reported that there are signs the world's second-biggest economy is stabilizing and rebounding.

"The last month of the quarter brought acceleration of industrial output, retail sales and fixed asset investment in year-on-year terms, highlighting the fact that improvement of momentum of the economy was particularly strong in September," Dariusz Kowalczyk, senior economist as Credit Agricole-CIB, told the BBC.

Lu Ting, Hong Kong-based China economist for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, told Agence France-Presse that "it's obvious that the economy is bottoming out, and economic growth will likely be higher in the fourth quarter than the third quarter."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/china/121018/chinese-economic-growth-slows-seventh-straight-quarter