China Fends Off Trade Trouble With 6.8% Growth

Trump meets Abe in Florida Image courtesy AFP  MANDEL NGAN

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected gross domestic product (GDP) to expand 6.7 percent in the January-March quarter, slowing only marginally from 6.8 percent growth in the previous two quarters.

While President Xi Jinping has pledged to further open up the world's second-largest economy and strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights, trade tensions with the United States may still intensify, posing potential risks to the economy. The economy had grown 6.9 percent in the first two quarters of past year. Fixed asset investment grew at 7.5 per cent, down from 7.9 per cent a year ago, while retail sales grew by 10.1 per cent in March. Online retail sales surged 35.4 percent on the back of the rapid spread of e-commerce shopping.

The economy's performance remains comfortably above the 6.5 percent annual growth target set by the Chinese government.

The first-quarter economic performance has set a good foundation for the full year, although global uncertainties are increasing and domestic development remains uneven, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

We've become accustomed to it: Q1 GDP data released in China today - the first country to do so and well ahead of other G20 countries - was bang on official estimates at 6.8 per cent annualised, the maintaining Q4's rate of economic growth.

Analysts had expected growth of 1.5 per cent on a quarterly basis.

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