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China's GDP growth to slow to 7%

THE Asian Development Bank forecast in a report yesterday that economic growth in China would slow to 7 percent in 2009 as a result of a global economic downturn.

The ADB's report, Asian Development Outlook 2009, said China's gross domestic product growth rate would drop to 6 percent in the first quarter from 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter last year.

This report came after a previous forecast by the World Bank in mid-March, which said China's economy would grow 6.5 percent in 2009.

China's economy grew 9 percent in 2008, the lowest rate since 2001, according to official data.

"An easing in domestic demand, compounded by weakness in exports, weighed on economic growth last year," the report said. But the government's switch to expansionary fiscal and monetary policies to support growth will moderate the slowdown forecast for 2009, it said.


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