China growth down in 2014; slowest in 20 years
HONG KONG, China — China’s economic growth slowed to its weakest in more than two decades, expanding 7.4 percent in 2014 from 7.7 percent the previous year, the government said Tuesday.
Growth in the fourth quarter of last year was 7.3 percent, unchanged from the previous quarter, which was the slowest expansion in five years.
The annual rate was the slowest growth for the world’s second biggest economy since 1990 and undershoots the official full-year target of 7.5 percent.
The latest numbers are still miles ahead of growth rates in other major economies, but represent a sharp decline from double digit growth in previous years and add to pressure on the country’s communist leaders as they try to prevent a sharper slowdown in 2015.
Chinese officials have tried to lower expectations by saying growth below the official target would be acceptable. But a surprise interest rate cut by policymakers in November indicated they were worried activity about a politically dangerous spike in job losses.
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