China economy's growth slows to 6.7 per cent, but government says it represents "good start" to 2016

William Turvill
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The first quarter of 2015 saw growth of 6.8 per cent (Source: Getty)

China's economy grew by 6.7 per cent year on year in the first quarter of 2016, the nation's government has said.

It marks the slowest quarterly growth for the country's economy since 2009.

But the figure is in line with expectations and China's own growth targets.

Read more: China's economy grew by seven per cent in 2015

The first quarter of 2015 saw growth of 6.8 per cent.

China said the 6.7 per cent growth had taken the country's GDP to 15.9 trillion yuan (£1.73 trillion).

The government is targeting growth of between 6.5 and seven per cent in 2016.

Read more: India overtakes China as fastest growing large economy in 2015

China's National Bureau of Statistics spokesperson Sheng Laiyun described the 6.7 per cent growth as a “good start” to the year.

The bureau said fixed-asset investment rose by 10.7 per cent, up from last year's 10 per cent, and investment in the property sector grew 6.2 per cent, up from one per cent in 2015 as a whole.