China's industrial output picks up speed in H1

17 July, 2017, 16:51 | Author: Leticia Walters
  • China posted a trade surplus of $42.77 billion in June slightly above analyst forecasts for a surplus of $42.44 billion. Reuters

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected the economy to expand 6.8 per cent in the April-June quarter, slightly slower than the pervious quarter's robust 6.9 per cent pace.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said last month that the country could reach this year's economic growth targets.

China's economy had been expected by economists to grow at a 6.8% year-on-year pace in the second quarter.

The bureau also said that retail sales jumped an annual 11.0 percent in June, beating forecasts for 10.6 percent and up from 10.7 percent in May.

The government has trimmed its 2017 GDP growth target to around 6.5 percent, after it expanded by 6.7 percent in 2016 - its slowest rate in more than a quarter of a century.

Observers expect a drop in China's economic growth in the second half of the year, but the government is trying to project stability ahead of an important Communist Party congress in a few months time.

Despite the strong result, the NBS said that that there are "still many unstable and uncertain factors overseas and long-term structural contradictions remain prominent at home". Therefore, the second-quarter upturn could be a boon for the country's leaders as they seek to contain a unsafe build-up in debt that has ballooned to 277 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

In the first half of 2017, the economy advanced 6.9%.

"If global demand for Chinese goods stays elevated, that will offset the curbs on growth that property and debt that the government has implemented", said Tao Wang, chief China economist at UBS.

China's fixed-asset investment (FAI) eased in the first half of this year as the economy continues to firm up, data released Monday showed.

"The biggest risk is the credit and loan risk of enterprises", Hu said.

China's steel output rose 5.7 percent in June to a record 73.23 million tonnes, data showed on Monday, as mills in the world's top producer ramp up production due to fat profits from rallying prices.

President Xi Jinping called for tougher regulations to contain financial risks during a weekend National Financial Work Conference, which sets the tone for reforms.

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