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Chinese Economic Growth Slower Than Expected


Workers walk out from a construction site at the Central Business District of Beijing, China, Jan. 20, 2015.

China's economy has grown at its slowest pace in 24 years, and the cooling trend is expected to continue into 2015, according to new figures released by Beijing.

China's government said Tuesday that its economy grew by only 7.4 percent in 2014, just missing its predicted growth rate of 7.5 percent.

Analysts say the rate is not as bad as it could have been, given a year when bad loans spiked, credit collapsed, and key real estate prices fell.

Property values are expected to be a continuing drag on the economy in 2015, with the power to affect a variety of other economic sectors. Experts worry about the onset of a deflationary cycle that would slow down demand across a range of Chinese domestic industries.

The World Bank said a continuation of the Chinese slowdown could affect world markets, negating the positive effect of increasing economic activity in U.S. and British labor markets.

The new Chinese figures have influenced the International Monetary Fund to downgrade its forecasts for global growth over the next two years. It warns that weakness in major global economies will outweigh the effect of lower oil prices, which consumers have welcomed in recent weeks.

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