by Xinhua writer Liu Jie
BEIJING, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- China's economy continued to moderate in the third quarter as the government weans the economy from the stimulus and back to normal. But rising inflation posed new challenges.
The gross domestic product (GDP) grew 9.6 percent in the third quarter from the same period last year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Thursday.
The growth rate slowed down from 11.9 percent in the first quarter and10.3 percent in the second quarter.
Last year's higher comparison base contributed to the deceleration. Also, the government's measures to cool the housing market and bank lending, as well as the closing of outdated industrial capacity, slowed growth, said Zhu Baoliang, a researcher with the State Information Center.
"The economic performance is generally sound," Sheng Laiyun, NBS's spokesman, told a press conference.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closed down 0.68 percent, or 20.42 points, Thursday at 2,983.53.
From January to September, GDP increased by 10.6 percent year-on- year to 26.866 trillion yuan (about 4.028 trillion U.S. dollars), the NBS said.
"In the face of complicated and fast-changing domestic and international situations and challenges, China implemented the stimulus package and sped up economic restructuring. The economic turnaround has been further consolidated and is moving in the anticipated direction," Sheng said.