The World Bank has cut its forecast for China’s growth rate this year citing concerns over the weak demand for its exports, and slow investment growth. The global lender cut its prediction to 7.7 percent, down from the 8.2 percent growth estimate it made in May.

In a report on the state of East Asia and Pacific economies the World Bank said there are fears that China might slow down even further. “The risk remains of a more pronounced slowdown in China than currently expected,” said the report.

China has been hit particularly hard this year by slow international demand for exports to the eurozone and the US, two of its biggest markets. Since the onset of the global economic downturn, the Chinese authorities have rolled out a number of growth stimulus packages, but domestic demand has not grown enough to offset the drop in foreign sales.

China grew 9.3 percent in 2011. Specialists have suggested that the slowdown has been compounded by the recent efforts made by the government to curb high inflation, and mitigate the country’s housing bubble.

Other East Asian nations are also covered by the World Bank report, which predicts that average growth in the region should increase to 7.6 percent this year.

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