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China posts 6.9 percent GDP growth in H1
17 July 2017, 08:43 | Melanie Burgess
Inflation drops to 16.10% — first time in 12 months
China's economy expanded faster-than-expected in the second quarter, setting the country on course to comfortably meet its 2017 growth target and giving policymakers room to tackle big economic challenges ahead of key leadership changes later this year.
China's economy grew at its weakest pace in 26 years during 2016, but other data released on Monday added to the picture of rebounding growth for the Chinese economy.
In terms of quarters, both Q1 and Q2 saw the same 6.9 percent growth.
Retail sales rose 11.0 percent in June from a year earlier, quickening from May and beating analysts' expectations for a 10.6 percent rise. There is fear that growing debt in the manufacturing sector could combine with overcapacity to drag the economy down, and there are also worries that large cities are now in the middle of a property bubble.
Property sales, measured by floor area, grew 21.4 percent, more than double the 10.2 percent increase in May, Reuters calculations showed. Studies over the years have found that China's national statisticians appear to overstate growth during periods of economic weakness and understate growth when the economy is booming.
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During January to June, fixed asset investment increased 8.6%, the same pace as seen in January to May period.
Forecasters expect economic growth to cool later this year as those credit controls take hold, depressing investment.
The 6.9 per cent growth rate in the second quarter is faster than expected, prompting the financial consultancy agencies to revise China's growth rate upwards.
"Overall, the economy continued to show steady progress in the first half.but worldwide instability and uncertainties are still relatively large, and the domestic long-term buildup of structural imbalances remains", the statistics bureau said in a statement.
The NBS also warned that China's economy also faces "many unstable and uncertain factors abroad"; perhaps a nod to president Trump's protectionist rhetoric, or perhaps Britain's exit from the EU.
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