Chinese real estate hit by slowest growth in six quarters

China's growth is down to the weakest pace in six quarters, pulling down property construction, as leaders came under pressure to stick to their commitment to keep credit reined in. Meanwhile risks of a deeper slowdown increased.

Chinese real estate hit by slowest growth in six quartersGross domestic product was up 7.4 per cent in the January-to-March period from a year earlier, according to the statistics bureau as  against the 7.3 per cent median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of analysts.

Industrial production as also fixed-asset investment lagged projections.

The weakest first-quarter property-investment growth since 2009 indicates tight credit and faltering demand adding to economic and default dangers as premier Li Keqiang engaged risks from shadow banking and local-government debt.

Commentators say, a deeper slowdown would see increasing pressure on leaders to expand stimulus or limit the pace of changes aimed at giving market forces a bigger role in the world's second-largest economy.

Bloomberg quoted Ding Shuang, senior China economist at Citigroup in Hong Kong as saying the property market was probably the biggest risk this year, as this was not a trend the government could fully control with policies.

According to Ding, while the government might refrain from large-scale stimulus, ''targeted easing'' might continue this quarter, especially in real estate.

Meanwhile according to the statistics bureau, China's economic growth in the first quarter was within range, and the employment situation remained stable with inflation under control.

According to bureau spokesman Sheng Laiyun, although economic growth slowed in the first quarter, in general, it stayed in a reasonable range.

The comments came at a media briefing after the release of data which showed the economy grew 7.4 per cent in January-March, slightly above expectations for 7.3 per cent growth.