China shows sign of pick-up in growth from 13-year low

China’s economic growth picked up in the fourth quarter of 2012, but data for the year as a whole showed the country recorded its slowest growth for 13 years.

The world’s second largest economy saw GDP growth rise to 7.9% in Q4, up from 7.4% in Q3, breaking a streak of seven consecutive quarters of slowing growth.

The boost was driven by state investment in infrastructure projects and efforts to get consumers and companies to spend.

However, GDP increased by 7.8% in 2012, down from 9.3% in 2011. This is the slowest annual rate of growth since 1999, the BBC reports.

China’s well-publicised economic slump has been driven partly by a slowdown in demand for products from the major exporter from the UK and Europe, as they struggle through their own recessions.

China has also seen a drop-off in domestic demand, while government intervention has helped calm the overheated property market to avoid a bubble, with the side effect of slowing growth.

In December, Fidelity’s veteran investor Anthony Bolton, running the China Special Situations trust, said he expects China’s real rate of GDP growth to be about 7%.

The days of GDP growth over 10% are over, but we expect to see 7% growth next year,” he said. “The headline figure is not reliable and I think growth has come down below that this year.”

 

This article was first published on Investment Week

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