China’s economy showed surprising resilience in the second quarter, as Beijing’s efforts to rein in financial leverage and property speculation had a smaller-than-expected impact on growth.

The economy expanded by 6.9 per cent in the second quarter, unchanged from the first quarter, according to figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics.

The result outpaced an expectation for 6.8 per cent growth by economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.

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

The result leaves China well placed to meet its 6.5 per cent growth target for the year, though concerns remain over how sharply the economy will slow in the second half.

On a quarter-over-quarter basis, China’s gross domestic product grew 1.7 per cent from the previous three months on a seasonally adjusted basis, the bureau added, compared with 1.3 per cent in January-March, suggesting that momentum in the economy may be performing better than the year-over-year figures indicate.

In other figures, China’s industrial output expanded at a faster pace in June, an indication of continued firmness.

Value-added industrial output, a rough proxy for economic growth, rose by 7.6 per cent in June from a year earlier, compared with a 6.5 per cent increase in May, the National Bureau of Statistics said. The increase beat a median forecast of 6.5 per cent growth by 14 economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal.

On a month-over-month basis, industrial production increased 0.81 per cent in June, compared with a 0.51 per cent rise the previous month.

Retail sales grew 11.0 per cent in June from a year earlier, accelerating from a 10.7 per cent increase in May. The reading was higher than a median forecast for a 10.7 per cent rise in June.

Retail sales rose 0.93 per cent in June compared with the previous month. In May, they grew 0.86 per cent.

By Grace Zhu
Dow Jones Newswires


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