China Q1 GDP eases to near 3-yr low, soft patch persists

13-Apr (Reuters) — China’s economy grew at its slowest in nearly three years in the first three months of 2012, with a weaker than expected reading raising investor concerns that a five-quarter long slide has not bottomed and that more policy action would be needed to halt it.

The annual rate of GDP growth in the first quarter slowed to 8.1 percent from 8.9 percent in the previous three months, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday, below the 8.3 percent consensus forecast of economists polled by Reuters.

…Growth of 8 percent is widely regarded as the threshold at which China struggles to create enough jobs for new entrants to its 800 million-strong workforce, raising the risk of social instability that Beijing abhors and so increasing the likelihood of stimulus measures being rolled out.


PG View: This was a bigger disappointment than the numbers would indicate as the whisper on Thursday was for a beat at +9%.

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