China's economy stabilises with solid performance

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Beijing, Oct 19 (IANS) China's economy grew 6.7 per cent in the third quarter of 2016, holding steady with the second quarter and strengthening hope that the Chinese government will achieve its annual GDP target.

The figure, released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Wednesday, is within the government's target range of between 6.5 and 7 per cent for 2016, Xinhua news agency reported.

On a quarterly basis, the economy increased 1.8 per cent on the second quarter.

GDP expanded 6.7 per cent year on year in the first three quarters of 2016 to reach 52.997 trillion yuan (7.87 trillion US dollars).

NBS spokesperson Sheng Laiyun said China's economy made progress and grew steadily as a result of expanded aggregate demand, supply-side structural reform, anticipated development and new economic drivers.

The structure of industry and demand continued to improve in the first three quarters. Wednesday's data showed the added value of the tertiary sector accounted for 52.8 per cent of the country's GDP, up 1.6 percentage points year on year.

Consumers contributed a staggering 71 per cent to economic growth in the first three quarters, up 13.3 percentage points on the same period in 2015, while energy consumption per unit of GDP dropped 5.2 per cent.

Agricultural production remained stable with 139.26 million tonnes of summer grain output, the second-best seasonal performance in history, with expectation of a good harvest this autumn.

Thanks largely to strong performance in the high-tech and equipment manufacturing sectors, the country's industrial output expanded 6 per cent in the first three quarters. The growth rate was unchanged from the first six months, the NBS said.

Industrial output is used to measure the activity of large designated enterprises with annual turnover of at least 20 million yuan.

Retail sales of consumer goods grew 10.4 per cent year on year in the first three quarters this year, accelerating from the 10.3 per cent growth posted in the first half of the year, on the back of robust online sales.

Fixed-asset investment (FAI), which includes capital spent on infrastructure, property, machinery and other physical assets, grew 8.2 per cent in the first three quarters year-on-year, though slowed by 0.8 percentage points compared with the first two quarters.

September FAI growth accelerated to 9 per cent year on year, compared with 8.2 per cent in August.

Investment in the property sector rose 5.8 per cent year on year in the first nine months of 2016, higher than 5.4 per cent posted in the first eight months, and 5.3 per cent posted for the January-July period.

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