China’s GDP grew by 7.6% in the second quarter, declining from 8.1% in the first quarter to its slowest pace in nearly three years, Bloomberg reported. The figures were roughly in line with economists’ expectations of around 7.7%. Industrial production grew by 9.5% year-on-year in June, slightly lower than forecasts, and fixed-asset investment expanded by 20.4% in the first six months of the year, slightly above expectations. Retail sales grew by 13.7% year-on-year last month. Beijing has loosened monetary policy since April, when the economy appeared to be cooling faster than expected. On July 5 the central bank cut interest rates for the second time in a month, and many analysts expect further cuts later in the year. “There is a rising urgency for more policy easing,” said Shen Jianguang, a Hong Kong-based Asia economist for Mizuho Securities.