China’s economic growth has slowed, with a 7.4% increase in GDP for the first quarter of 2014, less than the government’s target of 7.5%. This is the slowest growth since the third quarter of 2012, suggesting that the world’s second-largest economy is losing momentum. The slowdown has been attributed to attempts to shift away from an investment-led growth model towards one driven by consumption and services. Despite this, China’s National Bureau of Statistics remains optimistic, pointing out that the economy is still within a reasonable range.

The slowdown has raised concerns about the impact on global growth, as China is a major driver of the world economy. The International Monetary Fund has already cut its growth forecast for China this year to 7.5%, down from 7.6%. Meanwhile, Australia, a major exporter of commodities to China, has seen its currency fall in response to the news.

The Chinese government has introduced measures to boost growth, including tax breaks for small businesses and plans to speed up infrastructure investment. However, analysts warn that these measures may not be enough to offset the effects of the slowdown. They suggest that further stimulus measures may be needed if the economy is to avoid a hard landing.

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