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  • 2014第一季中国经济增长7.4%

    China's economy expanded by 7.4% in the first quarter of the year, better than what many were expecting.

    2014年第一季度中国经济增长7.4%,超过了许多人的预期值。
     
    But it is a slowdown from 7.7% growth in the final quarter of last year.
     
    Other data released with the gross domestic product (GDP) figure showed industrial output rising 8.8% in March from one year ago.
     
    Retail sales for the month of March spiked by 12.2%, underscoring China's efforts to boost economic growth via domestic consumption.
     
    Last year China set its growth target for 2014 at 7.5%, part of efforts to stabilise the economy after years of fast-paced expansion.
     
    China's growth data is closely watched around the region. A slowdown could hurt Asian economies especially those which export commodities and industrial components to the world's second largest economy.
     
    A sluggish start for the year is not uncommon, due to the Lunar New Year holiday when many businesses and factories shut down operations for about two weeks.
     
    But recent data from the manufacturing as well as industrial sectors have been weak, raising fears of a prolonged slowdown.
     
    Economic boosters
     
    Amid these concerns, China has recently taken more steps to give a jolt to its economy.
     
    A mini-stimulus measure announced earlier this month will see Beijing extending a tax break for small and medium-sized companies, and ramping up spending on China's railway infrastructure.
     
    In addition, the mainland also took steps to open up its capital markets by announcing a tie-up with Hong Kong, allowing for cross-border stock investment. The pilot scheme is scheduled to take off in about six months.
     
    And in January, China launched a free-trade zone in Shanghai, seen as a test bed for reforms in key areas of the economy, such as the financial and telecom sectors which previously were tightly controlled by the government.
     
    China also said it will allow foreign firms to make gaming consoles within the free-trade zone and sell them across China - lifting a ban on gaming consoles which had been in place since 2000.

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