China grows at 6.9 % in Q1, surpasses Govt’s estimate

RSTV Bureau

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Chinese economy grew at 6.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2017, surpassing government’s estimate.

According to the data revealed, the spurt in growth in the first quarter this year was mainly due to a surge in infrastructure investment and exports, signalling a steady growth in the world’s second largest economy.

The growth was well above the full-year target of 6.5 per cent, and the 6.8 per cent increase registered in the fourth quarter of 2016, China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said.

The GDP reached 18.07 trillion yuan (USD 2.63 trillion) in the first quarter.

“The national economy maintained the momentum of steady and sound development from the second half of last year, getting off to a good start in 2017 and laying a solid foundation for accomplishing the whole-year growth target,” said a NBS statement.

The official data also suggested a pick-up in domestic consumption as February retail sales jumped 10.9 per cent from the previous year.

China is trying to boost domestic consumption to shift focus of its export reliant economy, which is also driven by massive state investments in improving the infrastructure.

Also, China’s exports, which were on a declining trend in recent years, showed increase in Q1 in Yuan terms.

China’s exports in yuan-denominated terms rose 14.8 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter, while imports increased 31.1 per cent, customs data released on April 13 said.

Foreign trade volume reached 6.2 trillion yuan (about USD 902 billion) in the first quarter, up 21.8 per cent year on year.

As per the data released by the NBS, China’s fixed-asset investment (FAI) grew 9.2 per cent year-on-year in the first three months of 2017, quickening from the 8.9 per cent growth registered in the first two months.

Not just that, China’s value-added industrial output, an important economic indicator, expanded 6.8 per cent year on year in the first quarter, compared with the 6.3 per cent increase for January to February.

The 6.8 per cent growth rose from the 5.8 per cent increase in the same period of 2016. It was also higher than the 6-percent annual gain seen in 2016, NBS said.

In March, industrial production expanded 7.6 per cent year on year, NBS data showed.

(With inputs from agencies)