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24 Jul 2017 0:43
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  •   Home > News > International

    China's GDP, economic data beat expectations

    China's economy continues to beat expectations, with economic growth coming in slightly ahead of analyst forecasts.


    China's economy has continued to beat expectations, with its economic growth coming in slightly ahead of analyst forecasts.

    According to official data released on Monday,China's gross domestic producthas maintained its annual growth rate at 6.9 per cent.

    The typical forecast was for a slight slowdown in year-on-year growth to 6.8 per cent in the June quarter.

    Likewise, urban investment in June remained steady with an 8.6 per cent annual growth rate - which was slightly better than what economists had predicted.

    As for factory output and retail sales, they came in well ahead of expectations - at 7.6 and 11 per cent growth respectively.

    Higher global demand for China's products will help the country contain its massive debt levels - currently 277 per cent of GDP.

    China-Australia outlook

    China is targeting slower annual economic growth of around 6.5 per cent this year.

    This is lower than the 6.7 per cent pace recorded in 2016 - and would be the slowest growth in 26 years.

    "Overall, the economy continued to show steady progress in the first half ... but international instability and uncertainties are still relatively large, and the domestic long-term buildup of structural imbalances remain," China's National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement which accompanied the data.

    Julian Evans-Pritchard, the China economist at Capital Economics, has an even more cautious take on the data.

    "We don't expect the strength to be sustained," said .

    "We have doubts over the accuracy of the official figures, which point to implausibly stable growth in recent years.

    "The recent crackdown on financial risks has driven a slowdown in credit growth, which will weigh on the economy during the second half of this year."

    But Commsec's chief economist Craig James has a more optimistic take.

    "A strong Chinese economy is very much in Australia's interests and it continues to drive the global economy," Mr James said.

    He also noted that the latest Chinese data is "encouraging" for the Reserve Bank of Australia.

    "The latest data gives the Reserve Bank more reason to stay on the interest rate sidelines.

    "And interest rate hikes seem more likely in mid-to-late-2018 than interest rate cuts in the short-to-medium term."

    After the China figures were released, the local share market rebounded from its morning trading losses.

    At 1:55pm (AEST) the ASX 200 index had risen slightly - by 0.07 per cent - to 5,763.

    © 2017 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved


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