China's economy grew at a slower pace in the second quarter, continuing a trend that will test the country's leaders as they seek to execute painful structural reforms.
Gross domestic product grew 7.5% over the previous year during the second quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics reported Monday. That performance matches the government's target and the consensus estimate from private forecasters. First quarter 2013 growth was 7.7%.
Initial market reaction in Asia was muted, with most indexes in positive territory following the release.
GDP is closely watched in China as it provides the most complete portrait of the world's second largest economy, and government officials use it as a benchmark to gauge performance.
China has averaged growth of around 10% a year in the past three decades, propelling it up the list of biggest economies, generating wealth for its growing middle class and boosting global trade.
But many economists now say that China's economy relies too heavily on investment, a trend that has distorted the country's housing market and placed great emphasis on exports over consumption. In addition, the rules governing the country's equity markets make raising capital difficult for some businesses.
And state-owned enterprises, which dominate entire sectors of China's economy, are too frequently the recipients of favorable loans and treatment from the government.