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China's GDP increases 7.9% in Q4

By Wang Yanlin (Shanghai Daily)

15:41, January 18, 2013

CHINA'S gross domestic product expanded 7.9 percent from a year earlier in the final quarter of last year, wrapping up 2012 with a growth rate of 7.8 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics said this morning.

The annual rate was better than the 7.5 percent target as the country's economic output reached 51.93 trillion yuan (US$8.24 trillion). Although much weaker than the growth rate of 9.3 percent in 2011, it rebounded from the 7.4 percent pace seen in the third quarter of 2012, which was the slowest in three-and-a-half years.

Ma Jiantang, director of the National Bureau of Statistics, said the economy has shown signs of stabilization on many fronts including employment, inflation and the strengthening position of agriculture.

But the uncertainties in the global economy had affected the performance of China and may continue to cast a shadow over economic output this year, Ma said in Beijing.

Domestic consumption contributed 51.8 percent to the economy last year while investment reached 50.4 percent, however net exports dragged it down 2.2 percent, the bureau's data showed.

Last year, industrial production rose 10 percent year on year, down 3.9 percentage points from 2011. Fixed-asset investment increased 20.6 percent to 36.5 trillion yuan, slower than 2011's 24 percent rise. Retail sales jumped 14.3 percent to 20.7 trillion yuan, also less than the 17.1 percent rise recorded in 2011.

China has pared the growth rate target during the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) period to 7.5 percent from the previous 8 percent. But many economists forecast the economy will perform strongly this year due to increasing domestic consumption and recoveries around the world. The World Bank projected China's growth rate may reach 8.4 percent this year.

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