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Economy cools in 3rd quarter

(China Daily)

09:58, October 19, 2011

BEIJING, Oct 19 (Xinhuanet) -- Economic growth cooled in the third quarter to its slowest pace in more than two years amid tightening measures, debt fears in the euro zone and a sluggish US economy.

But the world's second-largest economy is not facing any risk of a hard landing given its sound fundamentals, economists said.

Year-on-year GDP growth slipped to 9.1 percent in the July-to-September period from 9.5 percent in the second quarter and 9.7 percent in the first, indicating a moderate expansion, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Tuesday.

The sluggish global economy, slumping financial markets and tightening monetary policies have combined to weigh down domestic output, Louis Kuijs, Hong Kong-based chief Asia economist at MF Global Holdings, said.

However, Kuijs does not believe that the country will experience a double-dip recession and is confident that China can be an engine for global growth thanks to its manufacturing industry.

Fan Jianping, head of the economic forecast department at the State Information Center, also dismissed concerns of a steep correction.

"Fears of a hard landing (in China) are unfounded," he said, citing still robust domestic consumption.

Domestic demand remained resilient last month. Year-on-year growth for retail sales was 17.7 percent, up from 17 percent in August.

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