Beijing: China's economy slowed to the lowest in more than three years in the three months ending in September, below the government's 7.5 percent target for the full year.
The National Bureau of Statistics said GDP grew 7.4 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, down from the previous quarter’s 7.6 percent and the lowest since the first quarter of 2009 in the midst of the global crisis.
Industrial production, retail sales and investment data were all slightly ahead of forecasts, however, and quarter-on-quarter GDP growth was strong, suggesting the worst may be over and the world's No.2 economy will pick up in the final quarter - as a once-a-decade leadership transition gets under way in Beijing.
While GDP growth at 7.4 percent would be cause for joy in recession-stalked developed economies, it represents a sharp slowdown for China, where GDP grew 9.2 percent in 2011 and has averaged an annual rate near 10 percent for three decades.
With Agency Inputs
First Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012, 10:17