The Chinese economy expanded 7.7 percent in the fourth quarter, according to the National bureau of Statistics. The general consensus was a 7.6 percent gross domestic product expansion, but the print was lower than the third quarter’s 7.8 percent.
Chinese fixed-asset investment, ex-rural households, increased 19.6 percent in December. This was lower than expectations of 19.8 percent in 2013 and lower than the 19.9 percent gain from January-to-November.
Industrial production also fell short of expectations. December’s industrial production increased 9.7 percent, short of the 9.8 percent forecast. Production declined from a 10 percent increase seen in November.Retail sales came inline with analyst expectations of 13.6 percent increase but declined from 13.7 percent in November.
The growth expansion in China was lower than expected as the economy only grew 1.8 percent in the fourth quarter from the previous three months, which was lower than what analysts forecasted.
Further growth in China is expected to continue to slow down into the low-seven percent range as the nation’s central planners aim to switch China to a more stable growth trajectory.
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) does not, typically, release information on Chinese gold reserves, but internal data indicates that the central bank has increasingly accumulated bullion over the few years. According to an article in the Shanghai Daily, analysis provided by Jeffrey Nichols, American Precious Metals Advisers, hints that the PBOC will announce that gold reserves have almost tripled from 1,054 tons to 2,710 tons.