China's GDP growth slowed to 8.9 percent in the last quarter of 2011, compared with a year earlier, showing that the world's fastest engine of growth is downshifting.


While China's fourth-quarter performance would be the envy of most any other nation—and surprised analysts who had expected a sharper decline—it is still modest by the measure of the past 30 years. China's gross domestic product has soared by an average of 10 percent a year in that period.