SLOWDOWN: China's economy is slowing further, defying hopes it may have "bottomed out," with data for April showing sharper than expected declines in investment and industrial production.
DECLINES: Industrial production in April rose 9.3 percent, down from nearly 12 percent in March. Investment in real estate and factory equipment and construction also slowed. China's economy had grown 8.1 percent in the first quarter, the weakest pace since 2009.
ROOM TO MOVE: But official data showed inflation also eased, to 3.4 percent in April from 3.6 percent the month before, giving the government greater leeway to ease policy to boost growth.