China's economy grows 6.9 per cent in second quarter

Nigeria’s Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun

China's GDP rose 6.9 percent year on year in the second quarter of 2017, flat from the first quarter, official data showed Monday.

China's economy expanded faster-than-expected in the second quarter, setting the country on course to comfortably meet its 2017 growth target and giving policymakers room to tackle big economic challenges ahead of key leadership changes later this year.

The National Bureau of Statistics said the figures showed China's economy had become "more stable, co-ordinated and sustainable".

"But global instability and uncertainties are still relatively large, and the domestic long-term buildup of structural imbalances remains".

China's factory output grew 7.6% in June, the fastest in three months. The figure beat analyst expectations, and sets China on the path to post its first year-on-year acceleration of growth since 2010. "It's also encouraging to see more signs of rebalancing with the pickup in retail sales growth".

The higher throughput came after another month of strong crude oil imports and as top refineries prepared to cut output in the third quarter.

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The services sector led the growth with an increase of 7.7 percent, while the manufacturing and the agriculture added 6.4 percent and 3.5 percent separately.

"Both the economy and the currency should help to ease investors' fears that China is going to the source of a further growth and financial market fright, after the volatility such worries caused in August 2015 and early 2016".

China also reported January to June fixed asset investment rising 8.6 percent on year (topping a Reuters poll of 8.5 percent growth) while property investment rose 8.5 percent in the same period.

Last quarter's growth momentum had continued into the current one, he said, noting that traditional economic indicators such as power generation and consumption, and new business orders had increased "significantly".

Julian Evans-Pritchard, an economist at Capital Economics, said: "China's strong first half to the year won't last".

Meanwhile, data on Monday, which showed China's steel output hit a record in June, comes amid an investigation by the Trump administration into China's exports of steel and other metals.

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