July 13th, 2011
07:27 AM GMT
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Hong Kong (CNN) – The world’s second largest economy is putting on the brakes. But will it be a slow decline, or a rapid stop?

China’s red hot economy eased, with second quarter figures showing Beijing’s GDP dropped to 9.5% compared to 9.7% year-on-year growth in the previous quarter, CNNMoney reports.

This is the lowest reported GDP for China since the third quarter of 2009. China’s GDP has been rising at an annual rate of around 10% for most of the past 30 years, growing 10.3% in 2010 alone.

Yet the most recent figures are not to be mistaken for a downturn – the second quarter growth rate was stronger than the market expectation of 9.4% forecast by economists in a Dow Jones Newswires survey. Analysts now expect the GDP to settle at around 9% growth for the full year of 2011.

This much-needed ease in growth reflects a temperate cooling of China’s overheated economy, amid increasing alarm that China’s boom is headed for a crash.

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