China’s economy grew in the first three months of 2015 at its slowest quarterly pace in six years, dragged down by an industrial slowdown and a weak housing market, the government announced Wednesday.
Gross domestic product rose 7 percent from a year earlier, in line with economists’ forecasts. While the growth rate means China still ranks as one of the world’s fastest growing major economies, it marked the country’s slowest quarterly expansion since early 2009, when it was still feeling the effects of the global financial crisis.
China’s Communist Party leadership has lowered its official growth target for this year to around 7 percent. This would be the nation’s slowest annual expansion in 25 years, but leaders have said this is a price that needs to be paid in order to reduce the economy’s reliance on credit-fueled growth and get everyday shoppers to spend more of their savings.
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