China lowers 2014 GDP growth to 7.3%

China today trimmed its growth estimate for 2014 to 7.3 per cent from 7.4 per cent, already the weakest in 25 years, in a move set to spark concerns about the health of the world's second-largest economy days after fears of a slowdown triggered global stockmarket panic. 

The revised gross domestic product for 2014 based on preliminary verification came in at 63.61 trillion yuan (USD 10 trillion), down 32.4 billion yuan (USD 5 billion) from the preliminary calculation that put the annual rate at 7.4 per cent, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said. 

Primary industries accounted for 9.2 per cent of the GDP structure, unchanged from the preliminary calculation. 

The secondary sector accounted for 42.7 per cent of GDP, up 0.1 percentage points from the preliminary calculation, while the tertiary sector accounted for 48.1 per cent, down 0.1 percentage point from the earlier statistics, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. 

The NBS calculates each year's GDP three times -- the preliminary calculation, followed by the preliminary verification and then the final verification, which is released several months later. 

China's economy is headed for its slowest economic expansion in 25 years in 2015. The new number remains the lowest since 1990, when expansion plummeted to 3.9 percent. 

The revised data today came at a time when investors have become increasingly doubtful of the depth of the economic slowdown in China. 

Chinese stocks have dipped around 40 per cent since mid- June after rising over 150 per cent in the previous 12 months. 

China, however, has tried to ratchet up market sentiments through rate cuts and last month it devalued its currency by nearly five percent against the US dollar in a single week, which sparked a global stockmarket havoc. 

Last year marked the weakest annual expansion for China in 24 years due to a housing slowdown, softening domestic demand and unsteady exports, and growth further slowed to 7 per cent in the first half of 2015 as the country braces for a "new normal" period of slower growth but higher quality. 

In an assuring message to the market, China's top economic planner said the world's second-largest economy is stabilising and turning for the better, citing stabilising rail freight and a warming property market as proof for the improvement. 

Since August, economic indicators such as power use, rail freight, home prices and transactions have all taken a favorable turn, showing economic operations stabilising amid fluctuations, according to a statement on the website of the National Development and Reform Commission.

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