As weak economic data fan concerns about the outlook for the world's second biggest economy, just how much of a slowdown in growth is Beijing willing to tolerate before it steps in?
So far Chinese policymakers appear happy to allow a lower level of gross domestic product (GDP) growth as the economy shifts away from a dependence on investment and exports, but their resolve could be tested as economic conditions worsen.
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China's full-year growth was 7.8 percent in 2012 and the government targets growth of 7.5 percent for 2013, which would be the slowest in 23 years, according to Reuters.
"The question is how low can we go and that depends on the pain threshold for Chinese politicians," said Chi Lo, senior strategist for Greater China at BNP Paribas Investment Partners.
"From what I understand, they [policymakers] talk about 7-7.5 percent as the range of growth that the authorities are willing to tolerate. So if we see economic growth slow to 7.2 to 7.3 percent we may see a shift towards [monetary or fiscal] loosening to make sure we don't slip below 7 percent," he added.
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Data on Wednesday showed exports fell 3.1 percent in June from a year earlier, the first decline since January 2012, reinforcing signs of a slowdown.
A spike in short-term interest rates to record highs last month that economists say could spill over into the real economy through higher lending rates has also fueled worries about China's economic outlook.