By Daniel Hunter

The Chinese economy grew by 7.4% in 2014 - its slowest rate of growth in 24 years.

Its official growth target was 7.5%, and it marks the first time China has missed its target for 15 years.

Despite the 24 year low, 7.4% is still a hugely impressive growth figure and beat market expectations of 7.2%.

Frederic Neumann, co-head of Asian economic research at HSBC said: "Although, at 7.3% last quarter, growth isn't as spectacular as over the past decade, it is still among the world's fastest.

"Especially reassuring is that retail sales and industrial production accelerated in December from the prior year, giving China a bit more momentum heading into the year of the goat."

Retail sales in the country were up 11.9% and factory output increase by 7.9%.

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