The Chinese economy appears to be slowing down after decades of growth.
The country’s statistics bureau reported 7.7 percent of overall growth for the fiscal year 2013, the same rate of growth as in 2012 and well below the double-digit numbers of much of the last three decades.
Industrial production and retail sales data for December painted a picture of steady, unexciting growth: Industrial output rose 9.7 percent from a year earlier, a touch below the 10 percent pace recorded in November, while retail sales growth, an indicator of domestic consumption, was virtually unchanged, at 13.6 percent.
According to The New York Times, China is undergoing a major economic overhaul, as Beijing tries to create efficient, sustainable expansion and wean the economy off reliance on state-driven investment, heavy industry and exports.
The goal is to increase domestic consumption, private industry and the service sector as engines of growth. At the same time, the authorities face the challenge of reeling in the rapid, inefficient lending growth of recent years without choking off economic growth altogether.