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    China's Economic Growth Slows

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    NTDTelevision

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    China's economic expansion slowed in the third quarter, suggesting the country is not unaffected by Europe's ongoing debt problems. But Chinese officials insist the economy is sound and will maintain its rapid rate of development.

    Falling exports slowed China's economic expansion in the third quarter to its weakest pace since 2008, with the European debt crisis affecting the world's second biggest economy.

    The gross domestic product rose 9.1 percent from a year earlier—that's down from 9.5 percent the previous quarter.

    The news follows trade data last week that showed exports to Europe shrank by half in August.

    Analysts said it could mean China is more exposed than expected to a global slowdown driven by the US economy and Europe's debt woes.

    But Chinese authorities are not likely to ease monetary policy restrictions anytime soon. They insist the economy is sound.

    [Sheng Laiyun, National Bureau of Statistics Spokesman]: (male, mandarin)
    "Looking at the momentum of economic growth, in the next phase, the possibility of China's macroeconomic situation maintaining stable and relatively fast development is relatively great."

    China's economic growth remains heavily weighted towards fixed asset investment, with an annual growth of 24.9 percent. Real estate investment slowed but remains at a pace of 25 percent.

    The statistics also showed imports grew faster than exports, with a 17 percent increase in domestic sales, particularly luxury cars and luxury goods.
    Ben Yang