China’s statistics authority Monday lowered the country’s growth rate for 2014 to 7.3 percent based on its preliminary verification.

Workers make clothes for export to Germany at a clothing factory in Huaibei, Anhui province
Workers make clothes for export to Germany at a clothing factory in Huaibei, Anhui province

The revised gross domestic product (GDP) for 2014 came in at 63.61 trillion yuan (10 trillion U.S. dollars), down 32.4 billion yuan from the preliminary calculation figure that put the annual rate at 7.4 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in a statement.

Primary industries accounted for 9.2 percent of the GDP structure, unchanged from the preliminary calculation. The secondary sector accounted for 42.7 percent of GDP, up 0.1 percentage points from the preliminary calculation, while the tertiary sector accounted for 48.1 percent, down 0.1 percentage point from the earlier statistics.

NBS calculates each year’s GDP three times — the preliminary calculation, followed by the preliminary verification and then the final verification, which is released several months later.

Last year marked the weakest annual expansion for China in 24 years due to a housing slowdown, softening domestic demand and unsteady exports, and growth further slowed to 7 percent in the first half of 2015 as the country braces for a “new normal” period of slower growth but higher quality.

In an assuring message to the market, China’s top economic planner said Monday the world’s second largest economy is stabilizing and turning for the better, citing stabilizing rail freight and a warming property market as proof for the improvement.

Since August, economic indicators such as power use, rail freight, home prices and transactions have all taken a favorable turn, showing economic operations stabilizing amid fluctuations, according to a statement on the website of the National Development and Reform Commission.

A recent report by Fitch Ratings’ on China’s new normal said that “pessimism over China’sshort-term outlook is overdone and a growth pick-up in the second half is already in thepipeline.”

Fitch, however, also expects more volatility around the new normal of slower growth, bothin real economic activity and in financial markets.

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