China said on Thursday its economy grew 7.4 percent in the third quarter of this year, easing for a seventh straight quarter and underscoring its deepest slowdown since the global financial crisis. The result dragged down growth in the world\'s second-largest economy to 7.7 percent for the first nine months of the year, the National Bureau of Statistics said. China had previously set a target of 7.5 percent for full-year growth. The third-quarter growth figure matched a 7.4 percent median forecast obtained in a Dow Jones Newswires poll of 14 economists. Growth in the quarter was the slowest since 6.6 percent recorded in the first three months of 2009 when China\'s economy was battling the effect of the global financial crisis. The economy grew 7.6 percent in the second quarter of 2012. China\'s economy, which grew on average more than 10 percent in the decade through 2010, has slowed since early last year amid broader global woes in major export markets Europe and the United States. Government efforts to curb the real-estate market have helped stabilise property prices but dampened demand in related sectors such as construction. Authorities have tried to bolster growth this year by cutting interest rates twice in quick succession and slashing requirements for how much money banks must keep in reserve to encourage lending but with little success. The statistics bureau, meanwhile, said production at China\'s factories, workshops and mines rose 9.2 percent in September compared with the same month last year. Fixed-asset investments rose 20.5 percent in the first nine months of the year compared with the same period last year, it added. Fixed-asset investments are a key measure of government spending on infrastructure. Retail sales, the main gauge of consumer spending in the world\'s second-biggest economy, rose 14.2 percent in September, the bureau added.