HIGHLIGHTS-China's Q1 GDP news conference

BEIJING, April 13 Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:39pm EDT

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BEIJING, April 13 (Reuters) - China's economy grew at its weakest pace in nearly three years in the first quarter of 2012, with the annual rate of expansion slowing to 8.1 percent from 8.9 percent in the previous three months, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday.

The other indicators published on Friday showed March industrial output expanded 11.9 percent, March retail sales rose 15.2 percent and quarterly fixed asset investment, one of the principal drivers of China's economy, grew 20.9 percent.

The following comments are from NBS spokesman, Sheng Laiyun.

ON ECONOMIC GROWTH

"Although China's growth has slowed, the economy is still growing steadily and overall it's in good shape."

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