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Fourth quarter growth may slow to 8.9%
(Shenzhen Daily/Agencies)
Updated: 2005-01-18 15:18

China's economy, Asia's second largest, probably expanded in the fourth quarter at the slowest pace in more than a year as government lending curbs helped damp investment. Growth might ease further this quarter, analysts said.

Gross domestic product (GDP) probably rose 8.9 percent from a year earlier after climbing 9.1 percent in the third quarter, according to the median estimate of 10 economists. They predict an 8.4 percent gain for the three months ending March 31. Fourth-quarter figures might be released January 25 in Beijing, the statistics bureau said.

China is restricting investment in industries including real estate, steel and aluminum to help ease shortages of raw materials and energy. That's making the economy more reliant on household spending and trade to achieve the 8 percent annual growth target announced last month by the National Development and Reform Commission, the nation's top planning body.

"Growth is still strong in spite of slowing investment growth because consumer spending is doing well and exports are still strong," Stephen King, head of global economic research at HSBC Holdings.

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