China's economy last year grew at one of its slowest rates in more than three decades, official figures showed Wednesday, as it was battered by a crippling property crisis, sluggish consumption and global turmoil.

The figures were in line with expectations and even beat Beijing's target but will likely pile fresh pressure on officials to unveil more stimulus measures to kick-start business activity and get the country's army of consumers spending again.

China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that gross domestic product expanded 5.2% to hit 126 trillion yuan ($17.6 trillion) last year.