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Two possibilities for China's economic development: official
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China's economic growth could either further slow or rebound, said Li Xiaochao, spokesman of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) at a press conference on Wednesday.

The world's fourth-largest economy's growth slowed slightly to 10.6 percent in the first quarter, compared with 11.7 percent in the same period last year, according to NBS statistics.

The deceleration was mainly due to the unusually severe winter weather and slowing exports, Li added.

He said the deceleration might continue because of uncertainties such as reduced external demand and the spreading impact of the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis.

However, there was also possibility that the rebound in investment may speed up economic growth, Li said.

Investment in fixed assets reached 2.18 trillion yuan (311 billion U.S. dollars) in the first three months, up 24.6 percent. The growth rate represented an acceleration by 1.6 percentage points over the last quarter and 0.9 percentage points higher than a year ago.

China's fixed asset investment continued to slow last year as the government's efforts to cool down the economy started to pay dividends.

Investment might grow faster this year as government officials at all levels took up new posts and laid out new spending projects, experts have said.

(Xinhua News Agency April 17, 2008)

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