China beats forecast with 6.9% growth last year

China's economy grew faster than expected in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, helped by a rebound in the industrial sector, a resilient property market and strong export growth.
China's recovery was helped by stronger global trade as well as robust consumer spending.
China's recovery was helped by stronger global trade as well as robust consumer spending. PHOTO: REUTERS

The world's No. 2 economy performed better than expected last year, its recovery helped by stronger global trade as well as robust consumer spending.

China grew 6.9 per cent after posting 6.7 per cent in 2016, a 26-year low. The figure is also better than the Chinese government's target of 6.5 per cent.

Figures released by the National Statistics Bureau (NSB) yesterday showed the first two quarters growing by 6.9 per cent and the last two by 6.8 per cent for a full-year expansion of 6.9 per cent.

But NSB director Ning Jizhe sounded a note of caution, saying "there are still difficulties and challenges confronting the economy, and the improvement of quality and efficiency remains a daunting task".

Analysts are forecasting growth of between 6.4 per cent and 6.7 per cent for this year.

SEE TOP OF THE NEWS: China's economy rebounds with 6.9% growth in 2017

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 19, 2018, with the headline 'China beats forecast with 6.9% growth last year'. Print Edition | Subscribe