However, the world’s second largest economy grew at its slowest pace in 13 years over the whole of 2012, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
Official figures show the economy grew by 7.9% over the final three months of last year, up from 7.4% in the previous quarter and slightly ahead of the 7.8% forecast by economists.
The fourth-quarter GDP boost came from state investment in infrastructure projects as well as efforts to get consumers and companies to spend in the domestic economy.
Mark Williams, chief Asia economist at Capital Economics. commented: “Today’s Q4 GDP data confirm the turnaround in China’s economy but they show too that it is reliant on the single engine of investment.
“Continued policy easing would be needed to prolong the acceleration through 2013 but this seems unlikely to happen.”
Despite the pick-up at the end of the year, the Chinese economy expanded by just 7.8% in 2012 – making it the slowest year for growth since 1999. However, it was still above the expected 7.7%.
IHS Global Insight senior economist Ren Xianfang said China has most likely avoided the feared ‘hard landing’. But she added: "The rebound by itself looks quite shaky. The trajectory of recovery is flat, mirroring the shallow downturn it’s rebounding from.”