Published: Mon, July 17, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

China's second quarter growth beats expectations at 6.9%

China's second quarter growth beats expectations at 6.9%

The Chinese economy grew at a rate of 6.9 percent in the second quarter, a faster pace than expected and above the government's growth target.

On a quarterly basis, growth picked up to 1.7 percent from 1.3 percent in the first quarter, in line with expectations. Factory output and retail sales clocked 7.6 and 11 per cent growth respectively.

Property sales measured by floor area grew 16.1 percent in January-June from the same period a year earlier, up from 14.3 percent in the first five months of the year.

However, growth is expected to slow over the remainder of the year as Beijing seeks to cool a red-hot housing market and attempts to rein in leverage.

Despite an expected deceleration in the rate of growth, senior officials, nonetheless, have suggested in recent months that China could easily meet this year's GDP growth target of around 6.5 percent.

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In the first half of this year, steel output totaled 419.75 million tonnes, up 4.6 percent from the same period in 2016, data from the National Statistics Bureau showed. Gross domestic product (GDP) accelerated at an annualized 6.9% in April-June, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

China's economic growth held steady in the latest quarter, boosted by trade and consumer spending, despite concerns about a possible impending slowdown.

In spite of government efforts to curb property prices, household loans - mostly mortgages - rose to 738.4 billion yuan in June from 610.6 billion yuan in May, according to Reuters calculations based on data recently released by China's central bank.

Progress is also being made in the country's supply-side structural reform and growth engine shift, according to the NBS. In May, Moody's Investors Service downgraded China's credit rating for the first time in almost three decades, saying it believes the rapid build-up of debt is eroding the country's financial strength.

China added 13.14 million jobs a year ago, and the registered urban jobless rate stood at 4.02 percent at the end of 2016.

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