China recorded a “steady” GDP growth rate of 6.7 per cent in the third quarter of this year, thanks to a red hot real estate market and government backed spending and lending that propped up the world’s second-largest economy which witnessed continuous slowdown. “The general performance was better than expected,” the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in a statement on Wednesday.
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“The national economy grew steadily with progress made and quality improved,” it said.
The growth figure of 6.7 per cent remained within the government’s targeted range of GDP growth between 6.5 and 7 per cent for 2016.
On a quarterly basis, the economy rose 1.8 per cent from the second quarter, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
China’s economic performance has a big knock-on impact around the world.
China’s GDP expanded 6.7 per cent year on year in the first three quarters of 2016 to reach 52.997 trillion yuan (USD 7.87 trillion), the NBS said.
NBS spokesperson Sheng Laiyun said China’s economy grew steadily with progress made and quality improved, as a result of appropriately expanded aggregate demand, the supply-side structural reform, positive development anticipation and accelerated fostering of new drivers.
Real estate has been a driving force behind China’s economy this year, with separate data released today showing that investment in property rose by 5.8 per cent between January and September with sales increasing by almost 27 per cent.
The data showed that China’s industrial output expanded 6 per cent in the first three quarters of 2016, largely due to strong performance in the high-tech and equipment manufacturing sectors.
However, the growth rate was unchanged from that in the first half of the year, NBS said.
Industrial output is used to measure the activity of large designated enterprises with an annual turnover of at least 20 million yuan (USD 2.97 million).
In September, industrial output rose 6.1 per cent year on year, missing forecasts of 6.4 per cent, and down from 6.3 per cent in August.
The increase in the country’s industrial output was largely buoyed by the fast-developing high-tech and equipment manufacturing sectors.
China’s economy has cooled steadily over the past six years as the ruling Communist Party try to steer it to more self-sustaining growth based on consumer spending instead of trade and investment.
The Chinese government has said the country is expected to face a grim situation in terms of fiscal revenue increases in the last quarter, due to continued economic downward pressures.
China is the world’s second-largest economy and the second-biggest importer of both goods and commercial services.
It also plays an key role as a buyer of oil and other commodities. Its slowdown in growth has been a factor in the decline in prices of those goods.