IT

China second-quarter GDP growth likely to cool

China second-quarter GDP growth likely to cool

Economist say the country is on track for its first year of rising growth since 2010.

Chinese steel output last month rose 5.7 percent from the year before to a record 73.23 million tonnes, surpassing April's all-time high of 72.78 million tonnes, data from the National Statistics Bureau showed on Monday.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said last month that the country could reach this year's economic growth targets.

Robust overseas shipments-reflecting renewed strength in the global economy-and solid consumption at home helped offset a slowdown in investment.

In the second quarter, GDP growth was steady at 6.9 percent year on year, flat from the first quarter, but well above the government's annual growth target of 6.5 percent.

Real estate investment, a key driving force of growth, increased by 8.5 percent in the first half of this year, slightly down from the first quarter.

So China's leaders have been eager to keep the economy growing briskly at least until then.

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The International Monetary Fund has forecast China's full-year growth for 2017 to hold steady at last year's level of 6.7 per cent.

Retail sales meanwhile rose 11.0 percent in June from a year ago, better than Reuters' forecast of 10.6 percent.

The strong data suggest across-the-board robustness in the industrial sector in June, said Zhu Haibin, chief China economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co.in Hong Kong.

Part of China's economic health in the second quarter reflected robust exports, with demand beginning to recover in Europe and particularly the U.S. after a long period of depressed growth.

Analysts expect that tighter restrictions on property purchases and bank lending will continue to weigh on the economy in the months ahead. In that respect, there were a few clouds on China's horizon.

Central banks around the world are focused on the persistent low inflation, and the PBOC is no different, with CPI inflation printing 1.5 per cent in June, largely in line with market expectations.

However, instead of being bolstered by the encouraging signs of growth, China's stock markets remained rattled and bemused by the piece of good fortune. China is becoming even more dependent on exports to the United States, with sales reaching their second-highest level ever last month, trailing only September 2015.


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