China’s GDP growth moderated to 7.7% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2013, slightly higher than market expectations of 7.6%. The full-year GDP growth last year stood at 7.7%, according to data released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics.
The fourth quarter’s 7.7% growth rate is slightly down from the 7.8% recorded during the third quarter 2013.
Other economic indicators show that growth momentum in the world’s second largest economy slowed further in December.
Industrial production growth slowed to 9.7% year-on-year in December from November’s 10.0%. For the whole year of 2013, industrial production grew 9.7% year-on-year.
Fixed asset investment grew 19.6% in December year-on-year, down from 19.9% in November. The slowdown was partially driven by a 0.3 percentage point drop in the growth rate of infrastructure investment.
Fixed asset investment reached US$4.58 trillion in 2013, up 23.1% year-on-year. The expansion rate is 1.3 percentage point slower than 2012.
Total social retail sales reached US$3.9 trillion in 2013, up 13.1% year-on-year. In December, retail sales grew 13.6% year-on-year.
Investments in real estate development reached US$1.4 trillion in 2013, up 19.8% compared with the year earlier. The growth rate is 3.6 percentage points higher than 2012.
Investments in residential property stood at US$982.5 billion in 2013, up 19.4% year-on-year. It accounts for 68.5% of total real estate investment.
"The data reinforces our view that growth is on a downtrend and we continue to expect GDP growth to slow to 7.5% in the first quarter of 2014 and to 7.1% in the second quarter," writes Nomura economist Zhiwei Zhang in a report.