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China cuts 2014 GDP growth: govt

BEIJING: China on Monday lowered last year’s economic growth figure to 7.3 percent after concerns about slowing expansion caused global market havoc, but said its own stock exchanges are stabilizing following “bubbles” and painful corrections.

The new number remains the lowest since 1990, when growth plummeted to 3.9 percent. Global stock markets have been pummelled by concerns over slowing growth in the nation, a key driver of the world economy.

The National Bureau of Statistics said on its website it reduced the gross domestic product (GDP) growth figure from the 7.4 percent announced in January after a “preliminary confirmation”. A final confirmation could come in January 2016, it added.

After decades of double-digit expansion, authorities are trying to pull off a tricky rebalancing — from an investment- and export-led economic model to one where domestic consumer demand drives slower but more sustainable growth.

Finance minister Lou Jiwei told a G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors in Ankara at the weekend that the economy had entered a “new normal”.

Growth was “expected to remain at around seven percent and the situation may sustain for four to five years”, he said.

Chinese growth slowed in the first two quarters of this year, reaching 7.0 percent in both periods.

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