China's second-quarter growth tops expectations

China's economy grew 6.9 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, buoyed by strong consumption and exports, despite tightening financial conditions, official data showed Monday.

In terms of quarters, both Q1 and Q2 saw the same 6.9 percent growth.

Industrial output for June grew by 7.6 percent, well above the forecast of 6.5 percent, and retail spending rose by 11 percent compared to June the previous year.

Investment, the biggest single component of economic growth in recent years, rose by 8.6% in the first half of the year, but that was down from 0.6% from the first quarter's expansion.

Forecasters expect economic growth to cool later this year as those credit controls take hold, depressing investment.

The government is aiming for growth of around 6.5 percent in 2017, slightly lower than last year's actual 6.7 percent, which was the weakest pace in 26 years.

"Overall, the economy continued to show steady progress in the first half.but worldwide instability and uncertainties are still relatively large, and the domestic long-term buildup of structural imbalances remains", said the statistics bureau in a statement. The result outpaced an expectation for 6.8% growth by economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.

The growth only proves the strength of China's economy despite policy makers' efforts to limit extreme and risky borrowing which causes a sluggish advancement in money supply.

China added 13.14 million jobs past year, and the registered urban jobless rate stood at 4.02 percent at the end of 2016.

Some analysts have said that the property market could turn out to be a bubble.

Like the GDP report, separate data on industrial output, retail sales and urban fixed asset investment all topped market expectations for June. It's likely to confirm that the eurozone inflation rate dropped to 1.3% in June, taking some pressure off the European Central Bank to start tapering its stimulus programme.

The news comes as the government focuses on reining in the country's rapidly ballooning debt.

  • Eleanor Harrison