The Chinese economy grew 7.8 percent in 2012 to mark the smallest 12-month expansion in GDP in a decade, the National Statistics Bureau said Friday.

The world's No. 2 economy grew 9.3 percent in 2011.

Though disappointing by recent Chinese standards, last year's growth bested the 7.5 percent target set by the People's Assembly last March, encouraging analysts to predict a rebound in 2013.

China's economic slowdown can be attributed in part to the impact on the Asian nation of continuing economic woes in Europe and the United States, the National Statistics Bureau said.

The economy grew at a 7.9 percent pace in the final three months of 2012 thanks to government stimulus measures, the bureau said, while GDP for all of last year totaled 51.93 trillion yuan ($8.28 trillion).

The bureau's report included figures for industrial output in 2012, which expanded 10 percent, compared with 13.9 percent the previous year.

Retail sales grew 14.3 percent last year, down from a 17.1 percent increase in 2011. Conversely, investment in real estate surged 16.2 percent in 2012 despite government efforts to deflate China's property bubble.

The real estate sector accounts for more than 10 percent of Chinese GDP. EFE