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China's economy growth slows down to 9.1% in 3rd quarter

By Wen Sheng (People's Daily Online)

11:23, October 18, 2011

Beijing--China's economy has shown clear signs of weakening, as the growth rate for the third quarter slowed to 9.1 percent year-on-year, hitting a new low ever since the first quarter of 2009 when the global financial crisis was running with full ferocity.

Economists and analysts have predicted the world’s second largest economy will continue to spiral downwards in the fourth quarter and early in 2012, if Beijing does not take effective fiscal and monetary measures to prop it up.

To make things worse, inflation rose 6.1 percent in September, buoyed by rounds of agricultural product price jumps since the beginning of the year. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said today in Beijing that consumer price index, a major gauge of inflation, rose a staggering 5.7 per cent during the first nine months of 2011.

NBS officials told a press conference that China’s economy has stabilized after months of tangible slowdown, thanks to Beijing’s resolute tools of macro control to curb housing bubbles and tame inflation. But, the marked slowdown in July-to-September growth, from 9.5 percent recorded for the second quarter this year, has stoked investors’ concerns that the economy might lose its momentum further, ridding the world of its expectation that a strong Chinese economy comes to the aid of a sputtering global recovery.

Some analysts said that, barring a rescue from Beijing, the growth for the fourth quarter could skip down to below 9 percent, which will cause more domestic problems including business closures and mass unemployment.

The slowdown of economy, analysts say, could persuade the central bank to terminate a year-long cycle of raising interest rates, which began in October 2010. However, it could be a few months away before the central bankers decide to lower rates to augment growth, as inflation hasn’t really come down and housing price remains at its height.

The authorities in Beijing are expected to tack to the country’s fiscal depth to boost government spending on key infrastructure, including projects of high-speed railways, bridges, water conservancy and affordable housing.

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