A glance at China's latest economic numbers

AP News
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Posted: Apr 15, 2016 2:19 AM

China's economic growth slowed in the first three months of this year to its slowest pace since 2009 during the global financial crisis. The data raised hopes that the world's second-largest economy may be stabilizing.

Here are some key numbers China watchers are following:

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GDP: Growth slowed to 6.7 percent in the first quarter from 6.8 percent in the last quarter, but was within the official target range for the year of 6.5 percent to 7 percent.

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INVESTMENT: Spending on factories and other "fixed assets" grew 10.7 percent, partly thanks to stronger spending on construction and heavy industries.

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INDUSTRIAL OUTPUT: China's factories raised their production by 5.8 percent, a slightly slower pace than late last year.

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RETAIL SALES: Despite worries over layoffs, Chinese consumers are still avid spenders and retail sales rose 10.3 percent from a year before, up from 10.2 percent in October-December.

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INFLATION: At 2.1 percent, inflation was below the 3 percent level policymakers are striving for. But that allows room for more stimulus if needed.

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EXPORTS: Chinese exports grew 11.5 percent in March, the first expansion since June, though weak year-earlier figures and distortions from the lunar new year were key factors. But exports fell 4.2 percent from a year earlier in the first quarter.

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LIKELY IMPACT: The latest data are strong enough to show that despite its prolonged slowdown, China remains a main engine of global growth, which the IMF's latest estimate put at 3.2 percent in 2016.