BEIJING (AP) — China’s economy grew by 8.1% in 2021 after an abrupt slowdown in the second half that is prompting suggestions Beijing needs to shore up slumping growth.

In the final three months of 2021, the world’s second-largest economy expanded at a 4% annual pace, government data showed Monday. That is down from the previous quarter’s 4.9% and an eye-popping 18.3% in January-March.

Activity slumped under pressure from Beijing on the real estate industry, a key growth driver, to cut debt levels that Chinese leaders worry are dangerously high.

That has prompted suggestions Beijing may need to cut interest rates or pump money into the economy through more public works construction.