Chinese economy delivers pleasant second-quarter growth surprise

Cornelia Mascio
Luglio 17, 2017

The economy grew 6.9 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier - the same rate as the first quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

The economy expanded by 6.9% in the second quarter, unchanged from the first quarter, according to figures released on Monday by the National Bureau of Statistics.

Meanwhile, retail sales in June increased by 11 per cent compared to the same month in 2016, and a month-on-month increase stood at 0.93 per cent.

Economic data from the second quarter has prompted a number of analysts to upgrade their GDP forecasts for China for 2017, although some moderation in growth is expected later this year as policymakers' efforts to rein in property and debt risks weigh on activity.

The economy is likely to face further headwinds as consumption also comes under pressure from slowing income growth, said Fan Zhang, senior China economist at RHB Bank.

Nevertheless, "it is a bit strange" that the growth exceeded many expectations, he said.

In contrast, the output of raw coal increased 10.6 percent year on year to 310 million tonnes in June, the fourth consecutive month of growth, the NBS said in a statement.

The Chinese government has set an economic growth target this year of about 6.5 percent "or higher if possible", the lowest economic growth target in 25 years.

In the first half of 2017, the economy advanced 6.9%.

On a sequential basis, economic growth improved to 1.7% from 1.3%.

In the latest alert, Fitch Ratings on Friday said China's growing debt could trigger "economic and financial shocks" even as it maintained its A-plus rating on the country.

The performance was ahead of the government's target figure of "around 6.5 per cent" and was also better than most analysts' predictions. A regulatory crackdown pushed up money market rates and helped damp down speculative lending while at the weekend President Xi Jinping warned regulators that failing to spot and dispose of risks in a timely manner would amount to a "dereliction of duty".

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