China's GDP Slowest Since Early 2009

July 12, 2012 11:28 PM EDT
China's gross domestic product fell to 7.6 percent in the second quarter, down from the 8.1 percent reported in the first quarter. It is the country's lowest level of growth since the first quarter of 2009, although the number was in-line with market expectations.

GDP was hurt by slowing European exports, a sluggish real estate market muted domestic consumption.

The numbers will likely prompt China to ratchet up its recent efforts to stimulate growth with central bank easing measures. The country has already cut key interest rates, although there is room to do much more.

Asian markets were flat-to-higher despite the news as more monetary easing could bring a flight back to risk assets, including stocks. The Hang Seng is up 0.14 percent and the Nikkei is flat.

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