China's economy expanded 8.1 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2012, slowing from 8.9 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Friday.
The quarterly growth was the slowest in 11 quarters and undershoot market expectation of 8.3 to 8.5 percent.
On a quarterly basis, the country's economy grew 1.8 percent in the first three months, NBS spokesman Sheng Laiyun said at a press conference.
According to preliminary statistics, the country's GDP reached 10.7995 trillion yuan (1.72 trillion U.S. dollars) during the period, Sheng said.
He noted the economy has maintained "a moderately fast growth pace" in the first quarter against the backdrop of stern global environment and new conditions emerging domestically.
China has lowered its full-year growth target at 7.5 percent in early March, after its economy grew 9.2 percent year-on-year in 2011.