Chinese economy slows in Q4

|By:, SA News Editor

Chinese GDP slowed to +7.7% on year in Q4 from +7.8% in Q3 but topped consensus of +7.6%.

On quarter, GDP +1.8% vs +2.2% and +2%.

2013 GDP +7.7%, as in 2012.

Industrial production +9.7% on year in December vs +10% in November and forecasts of +9.8%.

Retail sales +13.6% +13.7% and +13.6%.

Urban fixed-asset investment +19.6% vs +19.9% and +19.8%.

The value of new homes sold jumped 27% in 2013 to 6.8T yuan ($1.1T), the first time the figure has passed $1T (see also).

The slowdown in growth comes as the Chinese government starts to implement a major reform program aimed at rebalancing the economy away from heavy industry and exports more towards economic liberalism and consumption while at the same time trying to cool a sizzling housing sector and reining in soaring debt.

"Urbanization and investment demand are leading to rising sales volumes, while prices continue to gain," says economist Dariusz Kowalczyk. "China's growth remains heavily dependent on the real estate market."

Growth has been "fairly resilient," says SocGen economist Yao Wei. "It is more of the outlook that we worry about, especially with the financial risk in the system."

The Shanghai Composite is -0.7% and the Hang Seng is -0.8%.

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