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China 2013 GDP grows 7.7 per cent: govt

Update: January, 20/2014 - 11:24

BEIJING – China's gross domestic product expanded 7.7 per cent last year, data showed on Monday, its slowest rate in 14 years at a time of concern about the strength of the world's number two economy.

Growth for the October-December quarter also came in at 7.7 per cent, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said, slowing from 7.8 per cent in the previous three months.

The 2013 GDP figure was the same as the median forecast in a survey of 14 economists by AFP and exceeded the government's growth target for the year, which was declared as 7.5 per cent.

"Generally speaking China's economy showed good momentum of stable and moderate growth in 2013, which is (a) hard-earned achievement," NBS chief Ma Jiantang said.

"However we should keep in mind that the deep-rooted problems built up over time are yet to be solved in such a critical period for China's economy."

China is widely expected to face slower expansion in the years ahead with its leaders saying they are committed to transforming the country's growth model to one where consumers and other private actors play the leading role, rather than huge and often wasteful state investment.

Separately, the NBS said industrial output, which measures production at factories, workshops and mines, rose 9.7 per cent in December year-on-year, while expanding a similar 9.7 per cent for the full year 2013.

Retail sales, a key indicator of consumer spending, gained 13.6 per cent in December from the same month the year before and rose 13.1 per cent in 2013, it said.

And fixed asset investment, a measure of government spending on infrastructure, expanded 19.6 per cent in 2013, the NBS added. AFP

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