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Friday 23rd of January 2009
January 22, 2009

China hit by fall in exports


by Kay Murchie
”China

Economic growth in the world’s third-largest economy slowed to 9% last year - the lowest rate of growth for seven years.

While overall growth of 9% for the year should be good news for the economy, it followed on from 13% growth in 2007 and figures show that growth slowed considerably towards the end of last year.

Growth in the first quarter of 2008 was 10.6%, however, this slowed to 6.8% in the final quarter.

China has been hit hard by the global financial crisis that led to a fall in orders for Chinese exports.

Commenting on the figures, Ma Jiantang, head of the National Bureau of Statistics, described 2008 as eventful and extraordinary. The economy was hit by a series of natural disasters, namely the earthquake in May and the global financial crisis.

However, in spite of the difficulties in the economy, the incomes of both urban and rural households continue to grow, said Mr Ma.

Meanwhile, figures also showed that the South Korean economy contracted 3.4% in the last three months of 2008.

Furthermore, exports in Japan, the world’s second largest economy, plunged 35% in December - the sharpest fall ever. In November, it was announced that the Japanese economy was officially in recession.

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