Despite having set a flexible GDP target of around 7.5% the Chinese are struggling to maintain reasonable growth, according to Chinese media reports.

Following visits by eight inspection groups to 27 ministerial departments and 16 provinces and municiipalities, local governments are being urged to step-up pro-growth measures.

The inspection groups were commissioned by the Chinese State Council.

In Hebei Province GDP fell four percentage points to 4.2% during Q1 2014, the province's worst performance in 20 years.

High-polluting industries, such as steel, cement and glass, are generally regarded as the driving forces behind Hebei's economy, but of late the province has been curtailing production in order to reduce smog levels in the Chinese capital Beijing.

In Heilongjiang, where oil, coal mining and lumber are key industries, low energy prices and a strict felling ban are being blamed for their decline. GDP has fallen to 4.1% from 9% in the first quarter of 2013, recording the lowest growth in China's provincial-level regions, according to the Xinhua news agency.

While the Liaoning province was found to be 'generally stable,' weak exports and low investment enthusiasm, particularly in the property sector, were proving a problem.

More land supply, streamlined approval procedures and tax cuts have been initiated by Hebei Province with a view to nurturing strategic industries such as 'new energy business'.

In Heilongjiang there have been similar measures designed to develop the province's service sector and reduce reliance upon the energy industry.

Source: Xinhua