China's economy has registered flat growth over the past 12 months, logging its slowest expansion in more than a decade. Beijing said overcoming structural problems would take a lot more time than previously thought.
China's estimated gross domestic product expanded by 7.7 percent in 2013, the National Bureau of Statistics reported Monday.
The world's second-largest economy grew to 56.88 trillion yuan ($9.31 trillion, 6.88 trillion euros) last year, with the growth rate matching that of the previous year and equaling the slowest pace of expansion since 1999, the agency indicated.
"China's economy showed good momentum of stable and moderate growth in 2013 which is a hard-earned achievement," the Bureau said in putting a positive spin on 2013 developments, mentioning the annual rate was above the 7.5 percent penciled in by the government.
Excessive trade surplus
"However, we should keep in mind that the deep-rooted problems built up over time are yet to be solved in such a critical period for China's economy to develop and transform," the agency said in a statement.
Beijing has been trying hard of late to fuel domestic consumption and with it more sustainable growth as it attempts to rebalance the economy away from its heavy reliance on exports and investment in infrastructure.
Annual trade in 2013 rose by 7.6 percent last year, pushing China above the United States as the world's largest trading nation.
hg/kms (dpa, AFP)