China’s economic growth unexpectedly lost momentum in the first quarter as gains in factory output and consumption weakened, driving stocks and commodities lower on concern global expansion will slow.
Gross domestic product rose 7.7 percent from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said in Beijing today. That compares with the 8 percent median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of 41 analysts and 7.9 percent in the fourth quarter. March industrial production increased less than estimated while retail-sales growth matched forecasts.
Today’s data add to concerns the global recovery is struggling, with the International Monetary Fund set to lower its forecast for U.S. growth and investor George Soros warning that Germany will probably be in recession by the end of September. Moderating inflation may give new Premier Li Keqiang more room to boost domestic demand as the euro-area debt crisis clouds the outlook for exports.