Economy

China's 1Q economic growth ticks higher to 6.9 percent

China's 1Q economic growth ticks higher to 6.9 percent

Investment in property development rose 9.1 percent in the first three months from a year earlier, compared with 6.9 per cent for the whole of 2016.

The reading was an improvement compared to the average analyst expectations of 6.8% in a poll conducted by AFP.

In March, industrial output growth boomed to 7.6%, more than a percentage point higher than economists were expecting.

"The question is whether this investment-led model is sustainable as the authorities have trouble taming credit". "The strong growth and better external demand has provided room for a faster pace of countercyclical monetary policy tightening". However, its economy continues to expand at impressive levels, particularly because, among other things, it is the world's second largest economy.

China is seeking to maintain stability in the property market this year after the roller coaster ride of 2016, with measures to prevent surges in metropolises and the growing inventories in small cities.

Growth last was that strong in July-September of 2015.

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Value-added industrial output, a rough proxy for economic growth, expanded by 7.6% in March, compared with a 6.3% increase in the first two months of 2017. Real estate investment remained strong, expanding by 9.1 percent in the first three months.

More major cities across China saw month-on-month home price increases in March, underscoring the urgency of upgraded curbs to help dampen overly-rapid asset inflation.

"To curb home prices in the next six months, the government has no choice but to further tighten policies", Mr. Hu said. A year ago nationwide prices climbed just under 20%.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, statistics bureau spokesman Mao Shengyong admitted that the influence of China's property controls will gradually become evident in April and the following months as they were only introduced in mid-March.

The world's second-largest economy grew 6.9% in the first quarter, topping economists' estimates of a 6.8% increase.

March retail sales rebounded 10.9 per cent on-year as consumers shelled out more for home appliances, furniture and decorations for new homes.

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Auto sales also showed signs of recovering after weakening early in the year after the government reduced subsidies.

China's double digit GDP grow is well behind it.

In March, the business activity index for services was 54.2 percent, 1.0 percentage point higher than that of February, 1.1 percentage points higher than that of the same month previous year, continuing the expansion trend.

The unexpectedly robust growth was largely boosted by infrastructure investment and the housing market.

It's also the first time in seven years that China's economy has seen back-to-back quarterly acceleration.

"This is good for now but it makes it hard to see how China's economic slowdown will land in the future".

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