BEIJING: China on Monday lowered its GDP growth figure for last year by 0.1 percentage points to 7.3 percent, authorities said, as concerns mount over slowing expansion in the world's second-largest economy.

The National Bureau of Statistics said on its website it lowered the figure from the 7.4 percent announced in January after a "preliminary confirmation".

The new figure remains the lowest since 1990, when growth plummeted to 3.9 percent.

Global stock markets have been pummelled by concerns over slowing growth in China, a key driver of the world economy.

After decades of double-digit expansion authorities are trying to pull off a tricky rebalancing from an investment - and export-led economic model to one where domestic consumer demand drives slower but more sustainable growth.

But an official Chinese manufacturing survey last week sent world markets into a tailspin, as investors gave vent to worries China's economy is headed for a "hard landing".

Chinese growth slowed in first two quarters of this year, reaching 7.0 percent in both periods.

Investors were also alarmed by authorities' surprise lowering of the yuan currency's central rate against the US dollar by nearly five percent in a single week last month.--AFP