The Chinese economy recorded 7.4 per cent growth during the first quarter of 2014, new official figures from the country's government have revealed.
Although the growth is down from the 7.7 per cent recorded in the final quarter of last year, the data was still better than many analysts had expected, with some industry commentators believing China is destined to go through an economic slowdown in the coming months.
Retail sales for the month of March were revealed in the official figures to have risen by 12.2 per cent, while industrial output was up by 8.8 per cent this March compared to one year ago.
Julian Evans-Pritchard from Capital Economics explained growth in China has held up better than many people were expecting for the first quarter of this year. He added: "There are signs that downwards pressure on growth has eased somewhat."
China has announced a wide range of measures in recent months that are designed to boost economic growth in the Asian nation and ensure the slowdown investors fear is on the way, or that may be underway already, does not last.
Zhou Hao, who covers the Chinese economy for ANZ in Shanghai, stated that he believes the growth momentum has stabilised in March despite data showing growth slowed in Q1 2014.
He added: "Port throughput data and our field study also suggest that China's trade may have bottomed out, and will become more resilient than what the current headline numbers suggest."
The World Bank previously lowered its full year growth forecast for China down to 7.6 per cent from its previous estimate of 7.7 per cent, suggesting the body thinks the slowdown in China is a very real one. Even growth of 7.6 per cent would keep China among the world's most robust economies at this time.
In contrast, there are very positive signs for the UK's economy, with the International Monetary Fund recently raising its growth forecast for the country in 2014 for the second time in just a few months. The organisation now expects the UK economy to expand by 2.9 per cent this year.
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