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Friday, July 15, 2016, 10:38

China Q2 GDP grows 6.7%

By Agencies

China Q2 GDP grows 6.7%
Two workers prepare to leave after working on the roof of a building in Shanghai on April 14, 2016. (AFP)

HONG KONG - China's economic growth held steady in the most recent quarter, in a sign that the slowdown in the world's second biggest economy is stabilizing, according to official data released Friday.

The world's biggest economy expanded 6.7 percent in the April-June period compared with the year-ago period.

The growth rate matched the first quarter's level, which was the lowest since early 2009, when growth slumped to 6.2 percent amid the turmoil of the global crisis.

The latest numbers were mostly in line with economists' expectations.

China's economy posted its slowest annual growth in a quarter century of 6.9 percent last year and it's expected to slow further this year, with officials targeting an expansion of 6.5-7 percent.

"The national economy has achieved moderate but steady and sound development, which has laid down a solid foundation for achieving the annual economic development target," National Bureau of Statistics spokesman Sheng Laiyun said at a press briefing. "However we must be aware that the domestic and external conditions are still complicated and severe and the downward economic pressure remains."

Growth of China's industrial output picked up in June mainly thanks to strong performance in the high-tech and equipment manufacturing sectors.

Industrial output grew 6.2 percent year on year in June, up from 6.0 percent growth in April and May, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced.

Industrial output, officially called industrial value added, is used to measure the activity of designated large enterprises with annual turnover of at least 20 million yuan.

Month on month, industrial output gained 0.47 percent in June.

In the first half of the year, industrial output grew 6.0 percent year on year, higher than the 5.8-percent growth in the first quarter.

China's retail sales of consumer goods grew 10.3 percent year on year in the first half of this year, staying flat with the 10.3-percent growth for the first quarter.

Total retail sales of consumer goods stood at 15.6 trillion yuan in the first half of 2016, according to the NBS.

Retail sales in rural areas expanded by 11 percent year on year, outpacing the 10.2 percent rate for sales in urban areas.

In June, retail sales of consumer goods grew 10.6 percent year on year, compared with 10-percent growth for May, NBS data showed.

In the first six months, online sales surged by 28.2 percent year on year to 2.2 trillion yuan.

Investment in China's property sector and property sales in the first half lost momentum from the first five months, but destocking has made new progress, official data showed Friday.

Property investment rose 6.1 percent year on year in the first half, down from 7.2 percent in the first four months and 7 percent in the January-May period, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

In the first half, investment in residential property grew 5.6 percent, representing 66.8 percent of total property investment, the NBS said.

Property sales also slowed during the period, but the floor area of unsold property around the country continued to drop, showing positive results for China's destocking efforts.

In terms of floor area, property sales jumped 27.9 percent in the first six months, slower than the 33.2-percent gain in the first five months.

China's fiscal revenue rose 1.7 percent year on year to 1.563 trillion yuan (US$224 billion) in June, data from the Ministry of Finance showed on Friday.

Revenue growth was down from the 7.3-percent gain posted for May.

Fiscal revenue grew 7.1 percent to 8.55 trillion yuan in the first half of this year.

The ministry expects revenue growth to be further affected by reform policies in the following months as downward pressure on China's economic growth remains.

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