|Follow us on:|
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said gross domestic product (GDP) reached 12.8213 trillion yuan ($2.08 trillion) in the first quarter.
“The figures suggest growth in the world’s second-largest economy in the beginning of year 2014 was stable as Chinese authorities promoted reforms, innovation, restructuring and improvement of people’s well-being,” according to the NBS.
The first-quarter growth has slowed compared to the 7.7-per cent growth in the fourth quarter of 2013, and marked the lowest quarterly growth level since the third quarter of 2012.
But Wednesday’s figure still far outperformed the 6.6-per cent growth in the first quarter of 2009, when the global financial crisis wreaked havoc.
Economists said the weaker growth suggested heavier downward pressure on the economy, but that the growth rate was still within a reasonable range.
Other data jointly released with the GDP figures on Wednesday showed industrial output growth slowed to 8.7 per cent in the first quarter.
Fixed asset investment growth gained 17.6 per cent; retail sales expanded 12 per cent, while the average per-capita disposable income of both urban and rural residents grew 8.6 per cent year on year.
The economic slowdown came amid a generally mild inflation rate in the first quarter, with the consumer price index, the main gauge of inflation, rising 2.4 per cent in March.