China's economy grew an annual 7.4 percent in the first quarter of this year, slowing from a 7.7 percent increase in the last quarter of 2013, data on Wednesday showed.
The gross domestic product (GDP) number was just above analyst expectations in a Reuters' poll for a 7.3 percent increase. Still, the first quarter number marked China's slowest annual growth since the third quarter of 2012, Reuters reported.
"The [GDP] number was little bit better than I had expected," Francis Cheung, head of China and Hong Kong strategy at CLSA, told CNBC. "It's a good sign that the government can lead the economy to a soft landing this year, although I think there are significant risks especially in the second half of this year."