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China Center Data Flash -- Q1: Real estate drags on headline growth

China’s first quarter GDP growth came in slightly above expectations (7.4 percent year over year). Overall, economic momentum remained subdued in the first three months of 2014, especially on a sequential basis, although March did see a slight improvement, as is usual after the Chinese New Year Holiday. Going forward, the economy looks set to continue slowing into Q2. Given the across-the-board weakness in the data flow throughout the first three months of 2014, there is considerable debate about the integrity of the 7.4 percent rate, as it appears to entail a bit of data smoothing to effect upward bias.

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