The Chinese economy expanded 7.8% in 2012, the government said on January 18, as annual growth slowed for a second straight year in the face of weakness at home and in key overseas markets. But gross domestic product (GDP) grew 7.9% in the final 3 months of the year, as it snapped 7 straight quarters of slowing growth. China's GDP reached 51.9 trillion yuan ($8.28 trillion) in 2012, cementing its position as the world's second-largest economy after the United States. The official GDP figures come as optimism has grown among analysts that the economy will pick up steam in 2013 after two years of relative weakness.
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