Riding high: China’s economic growth continues to break records.
China’s economy grew 11.4% in 2007, its fastest rate in 13 years. Fourth-quarter GDP growth fell to 11.2% year-on-year, however, as government tightening measures and weakening global demand began to weigh on the economy. This is the fifth year in a row that China has achieved double-digit growth, and the country will likely surpass Germany this year to become the world’s third-largest economy. Inflation, which has risen rapidly in the past year, dropped slightly in December to 6.5% from its 11-year high of 6.9% in November.
The worst winter storms in five decades pummeled southern China in January and early February, severely testing the country’s infrastructure and preventing many migrant workers and students from returning home for the lunar New Year, China’s biggest holiday. The storms are responsible for at least 60 deaths and $7.5 billion in damage, according to China’s ministry of civil affairs. The storms destroyed agricultural crops and greatly slowed transportation, pushing up food prices around the country.