China's latest economic figures, especially the purchasing managers' index (PMI) in both factory activity and the services sector, indicated sagging momentum in December, with the country's growth softening slightly last quarter, economists said. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) is scheduled, later this month, to release China's macroeconomic data for the fourth quarter and the entire year of 2013, such as gross domestic product (GDP) growth, industrial production, retail sales and fixed-asset investment. China's economy expanded by 7.7 percent in the first nine months of 2013. GDP growth in the third quarter accelerated to 7.8 percent from 7.5 percent in the second. On Dec. 25, a report submitted by the State Council (cabinet) to the country's parliament said China's economic growth in 2013 is likely to stand at 7.6 percent. That would be the weakest growth since 1999.