China’s economic growth slows to 9.6 percent third quarter

Beijing, Oct 21 (IANS) China’s economic growth continued to decelerate duering the third quarter of this year, as the government started to pull out the fiscal stimulus package, even as rising inflation has started to pose new challenges.

The gross domestic product (GDP) grew 9.6 percent in the third quarter over the like period of last year, down from an expansion of 11.9 percent in the first quarter and 10.3 percent in the second quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics said Thursday.

From January to September, the GDP expanded by 10.6 percent year-on-year to 26.866 trillion yuan ($4.028 trillion), Xinhua reported, quoting the bureau. ‘The economic performance is generally sound,’ said bureau spokesperson Sheng Laiyun.

‘In the face of complicated and fast-changing domestic and international situations and challenges, China implemented the stimulus package and sped economic restructuring. The turnaround has been further consolidated and is moving in the anticipated direction.

Sheng said said the government would keep its macro-economic policy ‘consistent and stable’, and make it more ‘targeted and flexible’.

‘More efforts will be made to transform the economic development mode, deepen opening-up and reform, improve people’s lives and ensure stable and relatively fast economic growth,’ he said, even as rising prices became a matter for concern.

In September, the consumer price index, a main gauge of inflation, rose 3.6 percent year on year, up 0.6 percentage points from August. It was also the third consecutive monthly rise.

Accordingly, on Oct 19, China’s central bank announced it would raise the one-year deposit and lending rate by 25 basic points to tame rising inflation amid ultra-high fixed-asset prices.

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