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China’s economic growth slows to still-robust 7.9%

Associated Press
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Beijing — China’s economic growth slowed to a still-strong 7.9% over a year earlier in the three months ending in June as a rebound from the coronavirus leveled off.

Growth reported Thursday was down from the previous quarter’s explosive 18.3% expansion, which was magnified by comparison with early 2020, when the economy shut down to fight the coronavirus. Growth in the April-June quarter compared with the previous three months was 1.3%, reflecting a return to normal for factory activity and consumer spending as government stimulus and easy credit wind down.

Manufacturing, auto sales and consumer spending have recovered to above pre-pandemic levels since the ruling Communist Party declared victory over the coronavirus last March, allowing factories and stores to reopen.

Retail spending has been weaker than some forecasters expected, prompting Beijing to inject extra money last week into the pool available for lending. But the central bank and economic planners say they are sticking to long-term plans that call for a return to normal policy.

The International Monetary Fund and private sector forecasters expect economic growth of about 8% this year but say that should slow markedly in 2022.

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