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China's Economic Growth Slows


China's strong economic growth continues, but measures taken by the government to slow the boom may be taking effect. New statistics show the economy is on track to grow by more than 10 percent this year.

China's economy grew by 10.4 percent from July through September, down from 11.3 percent in previous quarter.

China's National Bureau of Statistics says that in the first nine months of this year, the economy grew 10.7 percent.

Li Xiaochao, a spokesman for the National Bureau of Statistics, says the growth rate in the third quarter was the result of government efforts to cool the economy.

"These effective measures have successfully avoided the growing momentum that would turn it into an overheated economy," he noted.

An overheating economy could cause inflation to rise and risk both economic and social instability.

To slow growth this year, the central government raised interest rates, curbed investment in construction projects and reduced lending.

China's economy has grown by more than 10 percent annually during the past several years. But there is considerable weakness in the system, with banks overburdened by unpaid loans, tens of millions of unemployed workers and a widening income gap between rural and urban residents.

While Beijing wants to avoid letting things overheat, officials also do not want to slow things down too quickly, which could lead to a recession.

Many economists in China and overseas say the government must keep the economy growing by more than 7.5 percent a year, simply to provide jobs and maintain stability.