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People's Daily Online>>China Business

GDP growth slowest in three years

By Chen Jia in Beijing and Gao Changxin in Shanghai (China Daily)

11:53, April 14, 2012

China's cabinet vowed on Friday to strengthen its fine-tuning of the economy as it grew by an annual rate of 8.1 percent in the first three months of 2012, its slowest pace in nearly three years.

"Efforts should be made to leave more room for new policies and prepare for hardships and tests," the State Council said in a statement after a meeting on Friday.

The State Council said the economy is generally in stable shape, but is faced with many difficulties and challenges, Xinhua News Agency reported.

It pledged to improve macro-regulation, enhance demand management, and make policies more targeted, flexible and forward-looking, according to the statement.

The government's overtures seemed to have met economists' expectations that more policy adjustments may be on the way to curb the sliding economy, which has been dragged down by simultaneously slowing exports and investments.

Economists said it is too soon to say whether the slowdown could be halted in the second quarter, but the 8.1 percent growth rate in the first three months was close to the government's tolerable bottom line.

The figure was well below the 8.9 percent growth recorded in the last quarter of 2011 and marked the fifth consecutive quarterly slowdown, piling further pressure on Beijing to loosen its monetary policy.

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