China steel output hits record in June

Andrew Cummings
July 17, 2017

China's gross domestic product expanded 6.9 percent on year in the second quarter of 2017, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Monday.

In 2016 China expanded by 6.7 per cent.

The central government's fiscal deficit was 4.3 percent of GDP in the latest four quarters' data, slightly more than the 4.1 percent of GDP deficit in the year-earlier period.

The Chinese government announced last week it would change the way it calculated economic growth for the first time in 15 years, adding healthcare, tourism and the "new economy" to the overall figure. The economy remains on track to meet the government's growth target of about 6.5% this year. "Growth momentum has stayed pretty high and the authorities have really tamped down the pressures on the capital outflow", said Stephen Schwartz, head of Asia-Pacific sovereign ratings at Fitch.

"However, we must be aware that there are still many unstable and uncertain factors overseas and long-term structural contradictions remain prominent at home", Xing told reporters.

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. Therefore, the second-quarter upturn could be a boon for the country's leaders as they seek to contain a risky build-up in debt that has ballooned to 277 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

During January to June, fixed asset investment increased 8.6%, the same pace as seen in January to May period.

Industrial enterprises above the designated size reaped profits of 2.9 trillion yuan in the first five months, representing an increase of 22.7 percent from a year ago.

The country's retail sales recorded a growth of 11% in June compared to a year earlier, which was the fastest since December 2015.

The National Bureau of Statistics however adopted a cautious tone.

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