Saturday, 18 November, 2017

China's economy grew by more than forecast in the first six months

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"The national economy has maintained the momentum of steady and sound development in the first half of 2017, laying a solid foundation for achieving the annual target and better performance", national statistics bureau spokesman Xing Zhihong said.

China's nationwide survey-based jobless rate was below 5 percent in June, with 7.35 million new urban jobs created in the first half of the year.

Its forecast for China GDP growth this year is 6.5 percent, with upside risk due to strong growth and exports.

The country said its second-quarter GDP growth was 6.9 percent against the prior year, and that comes as investors watch the world's second-largest economy for any signs of slowdown amid concerns over high debt levels.

"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", said the statistics bureau in a statement.

China eliminated around 120 million tonnes of low-end steel capacity in the first six months of this year.

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Xing also noted, however, that China must be aware that there were "still many unstable and uncertain factors overseas and long-term structural contradictions remain prominent at home". The growth was forecast to stay at 6.5%. Analysts have expected the Chinese economy to expand 6.8 percent in the second quarter.

Rounding off the quartet of data beats, urban fixed asset investment grew by 8.6% between January and June compared to the same period in 2016, topping the 8.5% pace expected by economists. It attributed the growth to online sales, which surged 33.4 percent year-on-year in the first six months of 2017.

Industrial production climbed 7.6 percent on year, topping expectations for an increase of 6.5 percent - which would have been unchanged from the previous month.

Likewise, retail sales growth accelerated to 11% in June from 10.7% in May, while growth was expected to ease to 10.6%.

The National Bureau of Statistics however adopted a cautious tone. Banks would tighten their credit policy in the near term, risking the cash flows of some borrowers.

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