Published: Mon, July 17, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

China's economy posts steady growth but risks remain

China's economy posts steady growth but risks remain

China's nationwide survey-based jobless rate was below 5 percent in June, with 7.35 million new urban jobs created in the first half of the year, the statistics bureau said on Monday.

Chinese economic growth topped expectations yet again in the June quarter with GDP expanding 6.9% from a year earlier.

The world's second largest economy is aiming a growth of about 6.5% in the current year, a little lower than previous year's actual 6.7%, which grew at the slowest pace in the last two-and-half decade.

"The national economy performed within an appropriate range with more visible good momentum", the National Bureau of Statistics said. The government targets slightly slower growth of about 6.5% this year.

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.

Nomura Securities said in a report after today's data release that given the data, it is raising the forecast for the Q3 growth to 6.8 per cent from the previous 6.6 per cent, and the annual growth forecast to 6.8 per cent from 6.7 per cent.

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".

In terms of quarters, both Q1 and Q2 saw the same 6.9 percent growth. The growth was forecast to stay at 6.5%.

Factory output was 7.6% higher compared to a year earlier in June, while fixed-asset investments were up 8.6% in the first six months of the year.

On Friday, customs data showed that China's foreign trade accelerated in June, adding to generally strong trade data in the first half of the year.

President Xi Jinping attended the National Financial Work Conference (NFWC) - an important policy making event - over the weekend, where there was a focus on managing financial risks. Industrial output, which rose 7.6% from the same period past year, paced the GDP gains, while an 11% surge in retail sales underscored the strength of the domestic consumer economy. It also said that leverage of enterprises "was brought down".

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