A young engineer in China examining cargo at a shipping yard.

China’s economy is headed for choppy waters as it posted a growth of 7.4 percent last year, the slowest in 24 years and missing the official target amid forecast by IMF that the world’s second largest economy would further slowdown falling behind India by next year. A Press Trust of India report by K.J.M. Verma.

BEIJING, Jan. 20 — Besides posting its lowest growth since 1990, during which China grew to be second largest economy, it also missed the official target of 7.5 percent for the first time in recent years raising concerns about a prolonged slowdown as the IMF today said the growth rate would fall below 7 in 2015.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) report said China’s growth rate would further decline to 6.8 this year and 6.3 next year falling behind India’s 6.5 percent.

Chinese economy, however, will continue to be big in size as its gross domestic product reached $10.4 trillion this year over India’s $1.877 trillion in 2013.

Chinese officials say that while the economy is slowing down, it is onto a more sustainable track while tackling a housing slowdown, softening domestic demand and weak global recovery.

There is persistent talk of a stimulus package but government rules out any such move amid reports of clearance of large infrastructure projects.

While there is still reason for the government to maintain an easing basis, economists said that policymakers will likely take the growth data as positive and not change stimulus plans straight away.

“More stimulus measures may be coming up, but it’s unlikely that the continuous fiscal and investment plans of the previous administration are in the works,” Tony Nash, global vice president of Delta Economics, told BBC.

“The economy is maintaining steady operation under the new normal, with positive trends of stable growth, optimized structure, enhanced quality and improved social welfare,” Ma Jiantang, head of the NBS, told a media briefing while releasing the new figures.

China is also banking on its outbound direct investment, (ODI) to spur growth as the first time its ODI crossed the $100 billion mark last year.

China’s non-financial outward direct investment reached $102.9 bilion in 2014, exceeding $100 billion for the first time, a 14.1 percent year-on-year rise.

China remains the third-largest outbound investor in the world.

FDI arrivals to China which touched over $120 billion in 2010 slowed down in the aftermath of the global economic crisis and slowing down of Chinese economy.