China’s economy slows down in the first quarter

China’s growth rate has slowed to a multi-year low in the first three months of 2015, raising concern about the pace of recovery in the world’s second largest economy. According to data released on Wednesday by the National Bureau of Statistics, Gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 7 percent in the first quarter. While this was in line with forecasts, it was lower than the previous 7.3 percent and was the slowest growth since 2009.

There were several factors that are behind the slowing growth rate, which include a cooling Chinese property market, an unexpected drop in local government spending and a stronger yuan that would make Chinese goods abroad more expensive.

Other Chinese data released on Wednesday include factory output which grew at a pace of 5.6 per cent in March, well below the previous low of 6.8 per cent in January and February and also a record low.
The Australia dollar was impacted by the Chinese data since China is a major trading partner for Australia. AUD/USD fell to a low of $0.7581 from an earlier Asian session high of $0.7633.

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