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China economy grew 7.8% in 2012: govt

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January 18 2013, 2:08PM

Zhang Zhiwei, China economist for Nomura International in Hong Kong, told AFP: "The data showed that the recovery is on track, but in the meantime inflation is picking up.

"So monetary policy will likely be tightened this year, with no chances of cuts in banks' reserve requirements or interest rates. As a result, GDP growth may slow down in the second half of this year."

The annual growth figure was the lowest since 1999, when it stood at 7.6 per cent, according to official statistics.

The statistics bureau also released other key indicators on Friday.

Industrial production grew 10.0 per cent in 2012 and 10.3 per cent in December year-on-year. Retail sales, China's main gauge of consumer spending, increased 14.3 per cent in 2012 and 15.2 per cent in December.

Also, fixed-asset investment, a key measure of government spending on infrastructure, expanded 20.6 per cent to 36.5 trillion yuan in 2012 - accounting for just over 70 per cent of the economy.