"According to preliminary estimates, in the first half of 2019, China's GDP growth year-on-year amounted to 45,09 trillion yuan [$6.6 trillion], year-on-year growth [stood] at 6.3 percent", the statement read.
Monday's official growth data marked a further loss of momentum for the economy from the first quarter's 6.4 percent, raising expectations that Beijing needs to announce more support measures to boost consumption and investment and restore business confidence.
China's economy continued slowing in the second quarter, as fragile domestic output and continuing trade tensions pulled growth down to the weakest pace since the early 1990s.
Net exports contributed to 20.7% to output growth in the first half, down from 22.8% in the first quarter.
Leaders of the United States and China agreed in late June to try to get trade talks back on track after negotiations broke down in May, and Washington said it would hold off on additional tariffs. The reading was up slightly from 5.6% growth in the first five months.
The reading highlights the negative impact the USA tariffs stand-off is having on China as leaders also try to recalibrate the growth model from exports and state investment to one driven by consumer spending.
New construction starts measured by floor area also rose 8.9% on year in June, versus a 4% increase the previous month, reflecting still robust demand, Reuters calculations showed. Bank lending and credit data were largely solid, however.
A fiscal stimulus plan including about two trillion yuan ($291 billion) of tax cuts is slowly feeding through into the economy.
"The monthly data were better than expected".
The overall retail sales result was also driven by robust auto sales growth, though with heavy discounts attracting buyers in June economists remain cautious on whether that upturn can be sustained. The government has stepped up efforts recently, easing the rules for using government debt in some infrastructure projects and pledging to renovate hundreds of thousands of old buildings.
In some provincial cities, including Nanjing and Hangzhou, local regulators have guided banks to raise interest rates on home loans in June, Chinese media have reported.
In the second half of the year, "the external environment may still be more complicated", said a government spokesman, Mao Shengyong, at a news conference.
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