The chief executive of Australian mining firm Rio Tinto said that the economic slowdown in China was worsening and demand for metals won’t rebound until 2009, Bloomberg reported. "It’s decelerating more in the fourth quarter than we saw in the third quarter. That is going to lead to a deferred pickup in cumulative demand for most of the things we produce during the course of 2009," Tom Albanese said in an interview with the newswire service in Madagascar. China is the world’s biggest buyer of metals and accounts for 17% of Rio Tinto’s sales. However, in the third quarter the country’s GDP grew at its slowest pace in five years. Analysts say a continued contraction in Chinese economic growth next year could further drive down Rio Tinto’s shares.