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China Likely To Miss 2014 Growth Target

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China's economy likely missed the government's full-year growth target last year to mark the slowest growth in more than two decades, with the fourth quarter forecast to be the weakest since early 2009.

Official data due on Tuesday is expected to show that economic growth eased to 7.4 percent in 2014, the weakest since 1990. The government target was about 7.5 percent growth.

Gross domestic product is forecast to grow 7.1 percent in the fourth quarter, the slowest expansion since the first three months of 2009. The economy expanded 7.3 percent in the third quarter.

The National Bureau of Statistics is also scheduled to release industrial output, retail sales and urban fixed asset investment data on Tuesday.

The World Bank last week said China is undergoing a carefully managed slowdown. The lender forecast the country's economic growth to ease to a still-robust 7.1 percent in 2015, 7 percent in 2016 and 6.9 percent in 2017.

Economic data suggests that banks have reduced lending and falling house prices dragged the property market lower. Beijing has attempted to shift its reliance from investment and credit to domestic consumption.

In November, China's central bank cut its key interest rate by 40 basis points to 5.6 percent, which was the first reduction in more than two years, in a bid to boost sagging growth momentum.

House prices continued to decline in almost all major Chinese cities in December, data compiled by the NBS revealed Sunday. Compared to November, prices decreased in 66 cities, remained stable in 3 and increased in one out of the 70 cities surveyed by the agency.

House prices in Beijing dropped 0.2 percent and fell 0.3 percent in Shanghai.

In December, overall bank lending declined sharply to CNY 697.3 billion and money supply growth slowed marginally.

Recent progress made towards curbing the rise of China's credit-to-GDP ratio is likely to slow going forward as it becomes more difficult to continue to rein in credit without undermining growth, economists at Capital Economics said.

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