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China's economy grows 6.9 per cent in second quarter, beating market expectations

17 July 2017

In the second quarter, GDP of the world's second largest economy held steady at 6.9 per cent year on year, flat from the first quarter.

"We do have doubts about how sustainable the recovery is", said Julian Evans-Pritchard, a China economist for Capital Economics, adding that the economy has "been very reliant" on government stimulus, rapid credit growth and a relatively loose monetary policy.

The U.S. dollar index (DXY) continued to trade near 11-month lows at the start of the week.

On a quarter-on-quarter basis, GDP expanded 1.7% between April and June. All that could upset Beijing's main priority at the moment of maintaining stability and calm ahead of a major Communist Party leadership change.

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The bank has raised its 2017 annual GDP projection to 6.8 percent on-year from 6.6 percent previously.

The ChiNext, the start-up board at the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, was down nearly 5 percent on the day, but recovered somewhat as trade continued.

Despite growing concerns about China's financial risks, Premier Li Keqiang said last month that the country could reach this year's economic growth targets.

What that translates to is tighter control over the financial system and the economy, which could pose further strains as China's economy transitions to new sources of growth. In the first half, retail sales advanced 10.4%.

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Natural gas production increased 8% from a year earlier to 74.1-billion cubic metres for the January-June period, the data showed.

However, buyer demand appeared to be more resilient than expected, reinforcing analysts' views that China's property market is unlikely to suffer a hard landing as some have anxious.

With risks rising in some parts of the economy due to leveraged investments and over-borrowing, officials need to carefully balance support for growth with risk controls.

The growth rate, which compares expansion with the same three months in the previous year, was the same as in the first quarter of 2017. But what counts in the overall economy is not the value of the exports but whether the trade surplus narrows or widens.

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China's economy grows 6.9 per cent in second quarter, beating market expectations