But data on Friday also showed the world's second largest economy ended the rough year on a somewhat firmer note as a trade truce revived business confidence and earlier growth boosting measures finally appeared to be taking hold.
While China's economy had been gradually losing steam over the first three quarters, growth stabilised at 6.0 per cent in the last three months of 2019 - the same pace as in the third quarter, according to the NBS.
China's economic growth cooled to its weakest in almost 30 years in 2019 amid a bruising trade war with the United States, and more stimulus is expected this year as Beijing tries to boost sluggish investment and demand.
Property sales by floor area eased 0.1 per cent year-on-year in 2019, after rising 0.2 per cent in January-November, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.
"The pace of growth is expected to edge lower to below 6%, as ongoing structural reforms in the Chinese economy and the continued impact of [the] remaining USA tariffs of 25% on $250 billion of Chinese products remain a slight drag on the growth outlook", said Biswas.
"However, we should also be aware that the global economic and trade growth is slowing down", he said at a news conference.
As part of the agreement, China committed to purchases of at least an additional $200bn in United States goods and services over two years, while the USA has suspended or is reducing some tariffs on Chinese goods.
That left full-year growth at 6.1%, the slowest annual rate of expansion China has seen since 1990.
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The figure matches an AFP analyst forecast and is within Beijing's official target of 6.0-6.5 per cent.
US crude has not been offered to Chinese independent refiners yet, but the value of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) Midland delivered to China was estimated to be 50 cents to $1 a barrel cheaper than Brazil's Lula crude and some West African crudes, making it attractive, several trade sources told Reuters.
But to make way for any surge in American shipments Chinese importers are expected to dial back orders of similar or pricier grades from places such as Brazil, Norway and West Africa - potentially triggering a shake-up of the light sweet crude oil market that could span the globe.
Fixed-asset investment rose 5.4% for the full year, versus expectations for a 5.2% increase, the same as in the first 11 months of the year.
Retail sales growth came in at 8.0 per cent, down from 9.0 per cent in the year before.
China's workforce continued to shrink a year ago.
Banks also have been encouraged to lend more, especially to small firms, with new yuan loans hitting a record $2.44 trillion in 2019. Analysts had expected growth to dip to 5.9 percent from 6.2 percent in November.
The economy has been slow to respond, however, and investment growth had slid to record lows.