China's economy grows 7.8% for 2012, better than expected
January 18, 2013 -- Updated 0346 GMT (1146 HKT)
- China's economy grew 7.9% in the fourth quarter, slightly better than expectations
- The world's second largest economy grew 7.8% for the year in 2012
- Fourth quarter growth rate bucked seven straight quarters of declines
(CNN) -- China's economic growth rose in the fourth quarter of 2012, helping the world's most populous nation end the year with a growth rate of 7.8%, according to figures released Friday from the National Bureau of Statistics.
Last quarter, China's economy grew at a pace of 7.9%, slightly better than analyst expectations and breaking a pattern of seven straight quarters of decline.
China's growth rate had been steadily falling since the fourth quarter of 2010, when economic output grew 9.8%. The slowing growth rate bottomed out in the third quarter of 2012, when China's economy only grew at 7.4%.
Last March, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao lowered the country's 2012 growth target from 8% to 7.5%. While such growth would be the envy of most nations, China's economy has grown at an average rate of about 10% each year for the past 30 years. This has helped propel China to become the world's second largest economy, just behind that of the United States.
China's leaders are widely expected to maintain its 7.5% growth target into 2013.
Adding to Friday's better-than-expected growth figures, China's industrial production increased to 10.3% year-on-year versus expectations of 10.2% growth. Retail sales rose 15.2% year-on-year, also a 0.1% point increase over expectations.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
October 29, 2014 -- Updated 0518 GMT (1318 HKT)
A top retired general has confessed to taking bribes, becoming the highest-profile figure in China's military to be caught up in President Xi Jinping's war on corruption.
October 27, 2014 -- Updated 0507 GMT (1307 HKT)
A group in China escapes from a stuck elevator thanks to one man and his trusty hammer. CNN's Kristie Lu Stout reports.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1352 GMT (2152 HKT)
Facebook's founder says he taught himself Mandarin and tested his skills with students in China.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0133 GMT (0933 HKT)
China launched an experimental spacecraft that is scheduled to orbit the moon before returning to Earth.
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1619 GMT (0019 HKT)
Full marks for ingenuity: This was a truly high-tech scam.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 0526 GMT (1326 HKT)
The rationale behind Confucius Institutes -- an international chain of academic centers run by an arm of the Chinese government -- is understandable.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 1511 GMT (2311 HKT)
Smooth jazz saxophonist Kenny G wants everyone to know that he's not a foreign agitator trying to defy the Chinese Communist Party.
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 1113 GMT (1913 HKT)
A smuggler in Dandong, a Chinese border town near North Korea, tells CNN about the underground trade with North Korean soldiers
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 0511 GMT (1311 HKT)
Yenn Wong got quite a surprise one morning earlier this month when she found out an exact copy of her Hong Kong restaurant had opened in China.
October 15, 2014 -- Updated 0315 GMT (1115 HKT)
When I first came across a "virtual lover" service on e-commerce site Taobao, China's version of Amazon, I thought it was hype.
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 1315 GMT (2115 HKT)
Each year Yi Jiefeng does what she can to stop China turning into a desert.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 1454 GMT (2254 HKT)
As its relationship with the West worsen, Russia is pivoting east in an attempt to secure business with China.
October 8, 2014 -- Updated 0229 GMT (1029 HKT)
Aspiring Chinese comics performing in Shanghai's underground comedy scene hope to bring stand-up to the masses.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1654 GMT (0054 HKT)
Liu Wen is one of the world's highest-paid models and the first Chinese face to crack the top five in Forbes' annual list of top earners.
October 3, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
Cunning wolf? Working class hero? Or bland Beijing loyalist? C.Y. Leung was a relative unknown when he came to power in 2012.
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 1125 GMT (1925 HKT)
App hopes to help those seeking a way out of China's overstrained public health system.
October 3, 2014 -- Updated 0020 GMT (0820 HKT)
Yards from pro-democracy protests, stands the Hong Kong garrison of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), China's armed forces.