China's GDP growth last year tanked to its lowest level in more than a quarter century at 6.7 percent, amid a scandal that a key province in the world's second-largest economy fudged data for years and concerns over a likely trade war with the US under Trump administration.
China's growth in 2016 was its slowest in 26 years, data released by the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday.
The economy slowed down from 6.9 per cent in 2015, when it slipped below the 7 per cent but still well within the government's target range of 6.5-7 per cent.
Growth in the fourth quarter ending in December came in at 6.8 per cent, a little higher from the 6.7 per cent in the third quarter. In its recent forecast, the IMF has projected China's economic growth this year to be around 6.5 per cent.
Ning Jizhe, Vice Chairman of National Development andReform Commission and Commissioner of the NBS who released the data, said as per the IMF projections China will become the fastest-growing economy in the world.
The IMF has cut down India's growth by one percentage point from 7.6 per cent, projecting China once again to become the fastest-growing economy in the world.
As per Friday's data, China's GDP totalled 74.41 trillion yuan (USD 10.83 trillion) in 2016, with the service sector accounting for 51.6 per cent, overtaking for the second year its fast slowing manufacturing sector, which in the past three decades fired the country to become a global export hub.
China's USD 2 trillion exports, highest in the world, this year slumped for the second consecutive year in 2016 by 7.7per cent. The continued economic slowdown - stated to be the new normal but at a modest range - came under fresh scrutiny after the northeastern Chinese province of Liaoning admitted cooking up its books from 2011 to 2014. "The fake fiscal figures influenced the central government's economic judgment and accordingly led to lowering of the size of transfer payments to the province," Liaoning governor Chen Qiufa said.