China cuts 2014 economic growth to 7.3% from 7.4%

2015-09-07

BEIJING-- China cut its growth rate for last year to 7.3% from 7.4%, in a move likely to add to worries about the world's No. 2 economy.

China's statistics bureau said on Monday that the country's gross domestic product for 2014 totaled 63.614 trillion yuan, or about $10 trillion, down 32.4 billion yuan from its initial estimate in January of this year. It said the number could be revised one more time when it releases final results in January 2016.

The difference represents less than 0.1% of China's overall economy. Still, the new figure suggests China's struggles last year to meet Beijing's official growth target were more difficult than previously realized. China's growth target last year was about 7.5%.

For this year, China has set a growth target of about 7%, which is already the slowest pace in 25 years. China reached that pace in the first half of the year, but data released in August suggested China's economic growth was softening even further, contributing to a slump in global markets in recent weeks.

Chinese officials have sought to reassure a domestic audience and global investors that the economy is still humming along. On Monday, its top economic-planning body said the country is on track to meet the government's annual growth target following a series of supportive policies by the government. The National Development and Reform Commission said in a statement that indicators ranging from electricity consumption to train freight to housing prices show the world's second-largest economy is on the mend.

Over the weekend, Zhou Xiaochuan, China's central banker, said that the "correction in the stock market is almost done" and that China's currency is steadying after last month's devaluation.

On Sunday, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said China's state-owned margin loan provider will continue to stabilize the market when drastic price fluctuations lead to systematic risks. China's top stock-market regulator also said it would study the creation of what is known as a circuit-breaker system to curb sharp daily trading moves.

China frequently revises its previous GDP figures. Last year it raised its estimate of 2013 economic output based on a new survey.