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Chinese growth rate slips, world markets react

In 1979, Shenzhen was a small fishing village with a population of 20,000. Now it is rated 5th in the world in terms of population density of over 10 million people. (Randy Risling/Toronto Star)

After years of growth, the surging Chinese economy has started to run out of steam.

For the first quarter of 2013, the Chinese economy grew only 7.7 per cent. Many analysts predicted a consistent 8 per cent growth rate for China -- a country which is edging out the United States as the world's biggest economy.

A slow-down in the manufacturing sector and overall global sluggishness is partly to blame for the slip.

The Financial Times reports that China's new premier, Li Keqiang, admits the future is unclear.

“Overall, the Chinese economy had a smooth start in 2013. But many uncertainties, both at home and abroad, still persist and make the overall situation quite complicated,” Keqiang said.

New York markets reacted to the downturn this morning as commodities fell to a nine-month low, followed by gold and silver tumbling.

According to Bloomberg, the Standard & Poor’s gauge of 24 raw materials dropped 1.4 per cent  in New York after silver tumbled more than 11 per cent and gold traded below $1,400 an ounce.

"The international situation continues to concern people, both in regard to Europe and China," Boston-based fund manager John Carey told Bloomberg. "People are watching for some signs of improvement in both areas."

Tanya Talaga is the Star's global economics reporter. Follow her on Twitter @tanyatalaga



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