Chinese economy outmaneuvers headwinds with steady H1 growth

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, July 16, 2019
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Staff members check FAW's Hongqi cars in an assembly workshop in Changchun, capital city of northeast China's Jilin Province, April 9, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

China's economy expanded steadily in the first half of 2019 as ongoing reform and opening-up helped to offset the impact from complex external and domestic economic situations.

The country's GDP logged 6.3-percent growth in the first six months of this year, in line with the government's annual target of 6-6.5 percent, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed Monday.

The economic performance was generally stable and remained within a reasonable range, NBS spokesman Mao Shengyong said, adding that the H1 data had offered a good foundation for the country to realize its annual growth targets.

The 6.3-percent GDP increase, achieved amid slower global economic growth, weak expansion of international trade and domestic downward pressure, meant China was still one of the world's fastest-growing major economies, Mao said.

In the second quarter, the economy rose 6.2 percent from one year earlier, a retreat from 6.4 percent in the first quarter.

Intrinsic economic strength

Although the headline GDP growth decelerated in Q2, activities rebounded visibly in June, with almost all the growth indicators beating expectations.

Retail sales rose 9.8 percent year on year in June, accelerating from 8.6 percent in May. Industrial output growth accelerated to 6.3 percent from 5 percent in May. Fixed-asset investment climbed 5.8 percent in the first six months, up from 5.6 percent for January-May.

The rebound in June activity growth may partially be driven by the recovery in demand, while the large-scale tax and fee cuts may have helped support industrial profitability and consumption growth in June, CICC analysts wrote in a report.

Consumer inflation and the job market remained stable. The consumer price index rose 2.2 percent in H1, while the surveyed unemployment rate in urban areas stood at 5.1 percent in June, both below the government's annual control targets.

Instead of resorting to massive stimulus policies, China, while ensuring economic growth within a reasonable range, has focused on pushing forward reforms and innovation to boost growth, making the 6.3-percent growth more sound and sustainable.

A breakdown of the data showed the output of the service sector, which accounted for 54.9 percent of the total GDP, rose 7 percent in the first half, outpacing a 3-percent increase in the primary industry and a 5.8-percent rise in the secondary industry.

Consumption continued to play a major role in driving economic growth, with final consumption contributing to 60.1 percent of economic expansion in the January-June period. Net exports contributed to 20.7 percent of GDP growth in H1.

In a recognition of the resilience of the Chinese economy, the IMF in April revised the 2019 growth projection for China up to 6.3 percent, 0.1 percentage points higher from its previous estimation.

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