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China: Economic growth falls to 6.1 percent

  • Story Highlights
  • China's economy grows at 6.1 percent in 2009 first quarter, government says
  • It is the slowest rate of growth in nearly a decade, Xinhua says
  • Industrial output grew at 8.3 percent in March, government says
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(CNN) -- China's economy grew 6.1 percent in the first quarter of 2009, down from 6.8 percent last quarter and from 10.6 percent year-on-year, state media reported on Thursday.

Xinhua: Figures released Thursday show the slowest rate of growth in nearly a decade.

Xinhua: Figures released Thursday show the slowest rate of growth in nearly a decade.

It is the slowest rate of growth for the Asian nation in nearly a decade, Xinhua reported.

The economic data was announced at a news conference by Ma Jiantang, director of the National Bureau of Statistics.

Gross domestic product reached 6.6 trillion yuan (about $939 billion) during the quarter, according to government-run news agency Xinhua.

Meanwhile, industrial output grew 5.1 percent for the quarter and showed signs of improvement -- climbing 8.3 percent in March.

China's consumer price index and producer price index -- two major indicators of inflation -- fell 1.2 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively, while retail sales grew 15 percent.

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Other bright spots were a rise of fixed-asset investment to 28.8 percent, compared with last year, to $411 billion.

Foreign direct investment declined 20.6 percent in the first quarter, compared with the same period last year, with investments totaling $21.8 billion.

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