China's growth slows to 8.1 per cent

China's growth slowed more than forecast last quarter to the least in almost three years, prompting economists to predict a rebound as Premier Wen Jiabao loosens policy to counter weak domestic and European demand.

Gross domestic product expanded 8.1 per cent from a year earlier after an 8.9 per cent gain in the fourth quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics said in Beijing yesterday.

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