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Alastair Hughes: Making sense of headlines on China's economy

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A general view of Shanghai's financial district of Pudong amid heavy smog.   © Reuters

One of the questions I am asked most often, particularly when in Europe or America, is: "Are the Chinese property markets going to go up or down?" It is impossible to answer this question with a simple answer.

     China's growth, once a driver of the global economy, is now a major concern for investors around the world as it slows from previous higher rates. As we all know, from 2002 through 2011, China's growth rate was remarkable, averaging about 10 percent per annum. But that has fallen steadily to 6.8 percent in 2015, and it's projected to slide further to 6 percent by 2017. At the Federal Reserve's most recent meetings, uncertainty over China's economy has in part led to it scaling back its projection for a 1 percentage point rise in interest rates over the year. Indications now are for interest rates to rise just half a percentage point this year.

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