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China posts slowest economic growth since 1999

  • The Chinese economy grew at its slowest pace in 13 years in 2012.

    However, growth towards the end of the year boosted infrastructure spending and a rise in trade indicate signs of a rebound that could help the country emerge from its worst economic period since 1999.

    According to the latest government figures, growth picked up to 7.9 percent in the final three months of 2012, from 7.4 percent in the previous quarter.

    Economists predict a rate of 7-8 percent is needed to deliver on reforms essential to China's long-term development following three decades of double-digit growth.

    China's new leaders, incoming President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, who are set to be confirmed in March, must stabilize the economy this year to order to keep employment high while avoiding a rise in housing prices and inflation, which could undermine reforms required to revamp the country's export-oriented growth model.

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