Economic slowdown 'due to rebalancing'
Updated: 2013-07-16 07:12
By Chen Jia (China Daily)
Nation 'still capable of keeping steady growth momentum in second half'
China's economy grew by 7.6 percent year-on-year in the first half, a marked slowdown in comparison with near double-digit growth recorded two years ago.
A government spokesman said that reducing the growth rate is aimed at making room for rebalancing the economy.
The nation is capable of keeping growth momentum steady for the rest of the year, even though the economic environment is expected to remain grim and complicated, he added.
The government's yearly GDP growth target for 2013, set earlier this year, is 7.5 percent.
Sheng Laiyun, spokesman for the National Bureau of Statistics, said that despite the slowdown, China's growth is still higher than that in other major economies.
The nation saw economic growth fall to 7.5 percent in the second quarter, from 7.7 percent in the first and 7.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Investment was the biggest growth driver in the first half of the year, contributing 4.1 percentage points to the 7.6 percent rate, while consumption contributed 3.4 percentage points and net exports 0.1 percentage point, the bureau said.
Industrial output in the first six months grew by 9.3 percent from a year earlier, compared with a 10.5 percent increase in the first half of 2012.
Annual growth of fixed-asset investment in the first half lost some steam, rising 20.1 percent year-on-year, down from 20.9 percent.
Meanwhile, consumer goods retail sales rose by 12.7 percent, 1.7 percentage points lower than in the first two quarters of 2012.
The slowdown was caused by the weak global economic recovery and measures taken by the new leadership, Sheng said.
Jonathan Holslag, a research fellow at the Brussels Institute of Contemporary China Studies, said the figures send a very strong signal that the central government is making efforts to rebalance the economy.
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