BEIJING: In the midst of a complex external environment, China's economy has ended in recent months on firm footing, with better quality and improved structure.
The world's second-largest economy grew 6.6 percent year on year in 2018, above the official target of around 6.5 percent, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed Monday.
The reading was lower than the 6.8-percent growth registered in 2017.
Growth in the fourth quarter came in at 6.4 percent, down from 6.5 percent seen in the third quarter, NBS data showed.
The country's economy has performed within a reasonable range in 2018, with economic growth being generally stable and improvement achieved in performance, Ning Jizhe, head of the NBS, said at a press conference.
Contributing to nearly 30 percent of the world's economic growth, the country's economy has remained the largest contributor to global economic growth, Ning said.
On a quarterly basis, the economy grew 1.5 percent in the fourth quarter, a notch down from a rise of 1.6 percent posted in the third quarter.
Gross domestic product (GDP) totaled 90.0309 trillion yuan (about 13.28 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2018, with the service sector accounting for more than half of the total.
As the country sought to shift its economy toward a growth model that draws strength from domestic demand, consumption remained the major growth driver, contributing 76.2 percent to GDP growth last year. Retail sales, a main gauge of consumption, rose 9 percent from one year earlier.