China GDP growth surprises on the upside

Nigeria’s Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun

Nigeria’s Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun

Though year-on-year growth was flat with the first quarter, the reading was comfortably above the government's annual target of 6.5%, leading commentators to predict China could see its first annual acceleration since 2010.

The rate was the same as in the first three months of this year, said the National Bureau of Statistics on Monday.

Despite the strong result, the NBS said that that there are "still many unstable and uncertain factors overseas and long-term structural contradictions remain prominent at home".

"It shows that Beijing's financial deleveraging was well-timed and carefully targeted not to have much spillover on the real economy", said Rob Subbaraman, chief economist for Asia ex-Japan at Nomura Holdings Inc.in Singapore.

The annual growth was forecast to slow to 6.8%.

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Urban investment also rose 8.6% annually in the first six months of the year, official data showed.

In China, the fiscal year begins on January 1.

The expansion highlights the resilience of China's economy, as activity has remained robust even as policy makers have tried to curb excessive and speculative borrowing, leading to a slowdown in money supply growth.

During the second quarter of 2017, the Chinese economy grew by 6.9% year-on-year to about 38.2trn yuan (£4.3trn, $5.6trn), beating analysts' prediction by 0.1%.

Meanwhile, China's aluminum production rose 7.4 percent year-on-year in June to its highest level on records back to 2014.

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And growth in both imports and exports also came in above expectations.

The NBS said that GDP for tertiary industries - predominantly services - grew by 7.7%, outpacing growth in the nation's secondary (industrial) and primary industries of 6.4% and 3.5% over the same period.

China is targeting growth of around 9 percent in fixed asset investment for 2017, and expects retail sales to increase about 10 percent.

Fitch Ratings on Friday maintained its A-plus rating for the country but said its growing debt could trigger "economic and financial shocks".

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