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China’s economy grows by 10.7% by Tania Branigan
The Chinese economy returned to double digit growth in the fourth quarter, with a jump of 10.7% year-on-year, but inflation is creeping up again amid fears of overheating.
Speculation in the stock market and property, fuelled by last year’s cheap loans and stimulus package, is of particular concern.
Although the fourth quarter GDP figure was slightly below analysts’ expectations, it was the fastest for two years and a marked increase on the previous quarter’s 9.1%. It took 2009′s growth to 8.7%, outstripping the official growth target of 8%, the level some believe essential to create enough jobs to match growth in the labour force.
Some analysts had doubted whether it was possible to reach that, given that growth in the first quarter was just 6.1%. Others argued that Beijing would ensure that it was met.
China’s total gross domestic output was 33.5 trillion yuan (£3tn) in 2009. Analysts believe it is likely to leapfrog Japan this year to become the world’s second largest economy, although it is still far behind in terms of consumption.
“China has become the first, on the whole, to achieve recovery and stabilization in its economy,” Ma Jiantang, commissioner of the National Bureau of Statistics, told a press conference in Beijing. But he said China would avoid major adjustments to economic policy given the “uncertainties” it still faces and a weak global outlook.