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China’s economic growth slumped to 6.8 percent last quarter, dragging down the pace of expansion for all of 2008 to a seven-year low of 9.0 percent as the full force of the global financial crisis struck home.

Wow. Growth of only 9%. What country would not accept that with open arms? Most amazing–it is the lowest growth rate here in seven years. I have been here in China for about half that time. I can not say that I notice any slow-down, but the construction sites all closed-down about a week ago, even though Chinese New Years is still four days away. Easy time to save on labor costs a bit. Everybody wants to go home.

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