China’s economy grows 6.9 per cent in Q1 of 2017

BEIJING: China’s economy grew 6.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2017, government data showed on Monday, beating expectations in the latest sign of stabilisation for the world’s second-largest economy.
Beijing has said it wants to transition away from a reliance on debt-fuelled investment and towards a consumer-driven economic model, but the transition has proved bumpy.
The economy grew at just 6.7 per cent in 2016, its slowest rate in a quarter of a century.
“For the first time in the recent years, China starts a year with a strong headline GDP,” Raymond Yeung of Australia & New Zealand Banking Group told Bloomberg News.
“Thanks to strong investment and property, the economy is performing well.”
The reading on Monday marked the second quarterly improvement since the final three months of 2014.
It was better than the median analyst expectation of 6.8 per cent in a poll, and also up on the fourth quarter figure.
“The national economy in the first quarter has maintained the momentum of steady and sound development,” the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement.
It added that “positive changes kept emerging and major indicators performed better than expected”.
Monday’s data also showed China’s industrial output growth rose to 7.6 per cent year-on-year in March, beating a Bloomberg estimate of 6.3.
Retail spending rebounded to a forecast-beating 10.9 per cent, while fixed-asset investment rose 9.2 per cent in the first three months of the year, representing a slight acceleration from February. — AFP