Finance

China's economic growth remains stable at 6.9% in the second quarter

China's economic growth remains stable at 6.9% in the second quarter

But China's speedy growth - an uptick from the 6.7% it recorded past year - will be hard to sustain in the months to come, analysts say, as the government focuses on reining in the country's rapidly ballooning debt.

Growth in inventory floor area in the first half of the year was 9.6 percent lower than one year earlier, compared with a fall of 8.5 percent in the January-to-May period.

China's economy had been expected by economists to grow at a 6.8% year-on-year pace in the second quarter.

China's economy grew at an annual rate of 6.9% between April and June according to official figures, slightly higher than forecast.

The better-than-expected figures mean China is on track to beat the growth target of "around 6.5%" set by the country's leadership for the whole year.

"However, we must be aware that there are still many unstable and uncertain factors overseas and long-term structural contradictions remain prominent at home", Xing told reporters. The growth was forecast to stay at 6.5%. The result outpaced an expectation for 6.8% growth by economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.

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On a quarterly basis, growth picked up to 1.7 percent from 1.3 percent in the first quarter, in line with expectations.

In the first half of 2017, the economy advanced 6.9%.

Strong retail sale and industrial production data supported offset of a slow start for Chinese stocks that may have been connected to the talks of stricter financial regulations.

Investment grew 8.6 percent year-on-year in the first six months, down 0.6 percentage point from the first quarter.

Retail sales also impressed, lifting by 11% from a year earlier. It also said that leverage of enterprises "was brought down".

Analysts said investors were cautious after Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed the need to control financial risks at a five-yearly financial conference over the weekend.