Beijing – The expansion of the Chinese economy slowed to a record low in the first three months of 2009, adding 6.1 per cent year-on-year, however, performance was “better than expected” an official said Thursday.
However, China’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate was 4.5 percentage points lower than in the same period last year and the lowest since the start of quarterly records in 1992. GDP growth was also down 0.7 percentage points from 6.8 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2008.
The achieved performance was “better than expected” in view of the global financial crisis hitting the real economy harder than previously thought. said Li Xiaochao, a spokesman of the National Bureau of Statistics
Industry output was up 5.1 per cent in March compared to the previous year, and 8.3 per cent compared to February, Li said.
Consumer prices fell by 1.6 per cent in February and logged a 1.2-per-cent drop in March, he added.
Growth was dragged down by a sharp drop in export, but the drop was buffered by the Chinese government’s 4-trillion-yuan (585-billion dollar) stimulus package.
Fixed asset investment in the first quarter rose by 28.8 per cent. Li said he expected investments to keep growing.
China’s GDP grew by 13 per cent in 2007 and by 9 per cent in 2008. (dpa)