Updated: 01/20/2014 10:47 | By Agence France-Presse

China 2013 GDP grows 7.7%: govt

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

China 2013 GDP grows 7.7%: govt

The financial district of Pudong over the Huangpu river in Shanghai on January 17, 2014 - by Peter Parks

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

Growth for the fourth quarter was better than the AFP survey's median forecast of 7.6 percent. 

"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.

For 2014, the median forecast in the AFP survey of economists was for growth to slow to 7.5 percent.

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

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

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

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