Chinese economy slowed in 1st quarter

Beijing, Apr 15 (EFE).- China's economy grew 7.7 percent on an interannual basis in the first quarter, slightly slower than the 7.9 percent pace of the last three months of 2012, the National Statistics Bureau said Monday.

The world's No. 2 economy posted gross domestic product of 11.89 trillion yuan ($1.92 trillion) during the January-March period amid "stable and constant" growth, an NBS spokesman said.

While GDP expansion beat the government's forecast of 7.5 percent, it fell short of analysts' expectations and came in at 0.1 percent less than the lowest-in-a-decade overall rate for 2012.

Business investment totaled 5.8 trillion yuan ($936.8 billion) in the first quarter, an increase of 20.9 percent over the same period in 2012.

Retail sales reached 5.5 trillion yuan ($888.4 billion) in the first three months of 2012, advancing 12.4 from the level of last year's first quarter.

China's government is trying to boost domestic consumption in a shift away from the export-driven economic model that has made the Asian giant the workbench of the world.