Chinese growth falls to 25-year low - but markets shrug it off

 
Emma Haslett
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China Daily Life
The data was at its weakest since 1990, but close to China's target of seven per cent (Source: Getty)

They say forewarned it forearmed, and Chinese markets seemed to agree last night, after they shrugged off potentially devastating growth figures.

The country reported gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 6.9 per cent in 2015, the slowest pace of annual growth since 1990.

But while the figure was disappointing, it was broadly in line with expectations, and close to China's target of seven per cent.

The lack of surprise meant Chinese markets actually rose, with the Shanghai Composite finishing 3.2 per cent higher, and the Shenzhen Composite rising 3.6 per cent.

"While counterintuitive, it seems the markets (unlike the economists) actually saw what they were expecting instead of something worse," said Augustin Eden, at Accendo Markets.

"As is always the case with Chinese data, there are both positives and negatives to take away, while the question of reliability always hangs over the numbers," added Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda.

"While the figures will undoubtedly be called into question and the slowdown in other key sectors have been a factor, we should take comfort from the fact that the economy is transitioning away from manufacturing and exports and towards consumption as planned and still performing well in this challenging global economic environment."

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