Beijing: The faster than expected growth in the fourth quarter of 2017 helped China’s economy to grow by 6.9% and reverse the downtrend of the world’s second largest economy for the first time in seven years.
According to the official growth figures released today by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the GDP growth rate eclipsed the official estimates of around 6.5% and even crossed 6.7% witnessed in 2016, which was the slowest in over 25 years.
Defying concerns that intensifying curbs on industry and credit would hurt expansion, China’s gross domestic product grew 6.8% in the October to December period, which remain unchanged from the third quarter, according to the NBS data.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had projected that the Chinese economy would grow by 6.8% in 2017 and 6.5% this year, while the World Bank had estimated the country would grow by 6.7% in 2017 and 6.4% in 2018.
“The national economy has maintained the momentum of stable and sound development and exceeded the expectation with the economic vitality, impetus and potential released,” NBS chief Ning Jizhe said in the report.
“We should also be aware that there are still difficulties and challenges confronting the economy and the improvement of quality and efficiency remains a daunting task,” Ning said.
The NBS data also showed that the Goss Domestic Product (GDP) totalled 82.71 trillion yuan (about $12.84 trillion)) in 2017, with the service sector accounting for more than half of the total GDP.
Consumption was the major driver, contributing 58.8% to GDP growth last year showing progress of the government’s efforts to rejig the economy from being export driven to that of the one depends on consumption.
The data also showed that China’s industrial output registered 6.6% growth year-on-year in 2017, rising from 6% in 2016.
Fixed-asset investment grew 7.2% year-on-year in 2017, which was 0.9 percentage points slower than a year earlier.
According to the data, the investment by private firms rose to 6% in 2017, up from 5.7% growth in January to November, hinting at the outlook of the private sector may be improving.
Retail sales of consumer goods grew by 10.2% in 2017 as compared to the previous year, a 0.2 percentage points slower than 2016.