SLOWDOWN: China's first-quarter economic growth was the slowest since the second quarter of 2009. The world's No. 2 economy grew by 8.1 percent in the three months ending in March, down from the previous quarter's 8.9 percent.
REASONS: China's rapid growth has fallen steadily since 2010 as a slump in global demand battered its exporters and Beijing tightened lending and set investment curbs to cool an overheated economy and surging inflation.
REBOUND: Analysts say China's economy should pick up in the coming months, but remain concerned that a steep slowdown that could lead to big job losses.