THE CHINESE economy grew by 7.7 per cent during 2013, the joint slowest expansion recorded for over a decade, but above the government target for a 7.5 per cent boost.
Many emerging markets suffered from slower growth last year, after markets began to expect the tapering of the US quantitative easing programme during the summer.
Growth in 2012 was also 7.7 per cent, the lowest since 1999. Before the crash, in the early years of the last decade the economy regularly expanded by ten per cent or more.
Industrial production figures for the year also came in below expectations, with 9.7 per cent growth during 2013.
“China proved to be remarkably resilient last year. It weathered the tapering-triggered turbulences in other emerging markets, offset still weak exports to the west with domestic demand and managing to implement some measures to deflate credit bubbles,” said Berenberg economist Robert Wood.
He added: “Gradual economic reform should support domestic demand and raise China’s contribution to global demand, despite a slowly falling growth rate.”
China tightened its own monetary conditions considerably during the year, reacting to concerns over the financial system’s stability.
Some analysts are projecting that more moderate growth will continue for China: Saxo Bank’s head of macro strategy Mads Koefoed projects a slightly lower expansion in 2014.
Similarly, the World Bank’s latest economic forecast for China projects 7.7 per cent GDP growth again in the year ahead.
The Bank also lists rebalancing in China as one of the major potential tailwinds for the world economy in 2014, along with the Eurozone’s slow recovery and uncertainty about fiscal policy in the US.