In the final quarter of 2011, China’s economy grew at its slowest pace in 2½ years because of shrinking exports, tighter bank lending and a cooling real estate market.

Compared with the same period a year earlier, the country’s gross domestic product grew by 8.9% in the fourth quarter of 2011, down from 9.1% in the previous quarter, China’s National Bureau of Statistics said Tuesday.

For the year, the world’s second-largest economy expanded by 9.2%, off from 10.4% in 2010.

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