China Beijing

The Chinese economy grew by 6.7% in the first quarter of 2016, according to official stats - it's slowest rise for seven years.

Following growth of 6.8% in the final quarter of 2015, the Chinese government expected a further reduction this time around.

Economists around the world have kept a close eye on China's economic performance over the past year, with its slowing growth attributed to being the reason behind a slowing global economy.

These latest figures add evidence to the long-term slowing of its economy, but there are definite signs of progression in certain areas. Earlier this week, China reported a near-19% rise in exports in March - meaning a trade surplus of £21 billion, based on exchange rates at the time.

Further figures released by the government's official statistics agency have also led many to question if China has really been as affected by the global slowdown as first feared.

Investment in industrial assets and infrastructure grew by 10.7% - a surprise to most experts - in the first quarter, compared with last year. And retail sales jumped by a similar 10.5% in March.

These figures show that despite attempts to create major shift in the China's economy, the countries exports, domestic industry and consumer spending are all going strong.

The Chinese government is in the middle of transforming how the country makes its money. Having spent much of the past 20-30 years as "the factory of the world", with rapid growth, the government wants the economy to become more service-led. That means less manufacturing and production, more consumer spending.

With annual economic growth falling to its lowest level in 25 years in 2015, the Chinese government has forecast growth of 6.5-7% this year. Speaking to parliament last month, Premier Li Keqiang said China "will face more and tougher problems and challenges in its development this year, so we must be fully prepared to fight a difficult battle".