Five questions answered on China's slowing economy

Growth slows for a seventh quarter.

China's economy has slowed. Photograph: Getty Images

The world’s second biggest economy has slowed for a seventh quarter. We answer five questions on the Asian juggernaut's slowing fiscal growth.

By how much has China's growth slowed?

According to Chinese government officials the annual rate of growth in the last quarter was 7.4 per cent, down from 7.6 per cent in the previous three months. This is down from 8.1 per cent in the first quarter and its lowest level since the beginning of 2009.

Why has it slowed?

China’s previous rapid growth was largely due to its export and manufacturing sector and a credit fuelled investment boom. However, slow rebound in the USA and the Eurozone crisis has hurt demand for Chinese exports.

How does this affect the global economy?

China has been the single biggest contributor to global growth in recent years. Therefore, slowing growth in China generally dampens hopes that China will prop up the global economic outlook. It was also hit hard exporters from Europe and some other Asian countries and slow the momentum of the global economy.

What are the experts saying?

That the outlook isn’t all bad.

"The last month of the quarter brought acceleration of industrial output, retail sales and fixed asset investment in year-on-year terms, highlighting the fact that improvement of momentum of the economy was particularly strong in September," Dariusz Kowalczyk, senior economist as Credit Agricole-CIB, told the BBC.

While, Zhang Zhiwei, chief China economist at Nomura in Hong Kong, added:

"The September data indicates economic momentum has picked up strongly compared with July and August."

What's the future outlook?

Stable. There are signs that although growth has slowed considerably this year, China’s economy is leveling out. Retail sales were 14.2 per cent higher than a year earlier, while other figures released showed a 9.9 per cent year-on-year growth in exports during September, up from 2.7 per cent growth recorded in the previous month.

NBS spokesman Sheng Laiyun told reporters at a briefing: "Judging from figures in the third quarter and particularly in September, the signs that the national economy is stabilising are clearer.

"The main indicators showed that although growth still slowed, the pace of the decline slowed," he said.