The Chinese economy is growing faster than all expectations

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 18, 2017

China's whole-year growth this year may reach 6.7 percent, meaning it will meet its target of "around 6.5 percent", according to forecasts by some institutions, such as the China Center for International Economic Exchanges and investment bank ICBC International.

But China's speedy growth - an uptick from the 6.7% it recorded past year - will be hard to sustain in the months to come, analysts say, as the government focuses on reining in the country's rapidly ballooning debt.

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

Retail sales rose 11 percent in June a year earlier, higher than analysts' estimate of 10.6 percent.

Industrial output gained 7.6 percent in June prior year beating analysts' expectation of a 6.5 percent increase. A key contributor to the growth surprise was much stronger-than-expected industrial production, at 7.6%, up from 6.5% y/y the previous month. While this new method isn't expected to impact today's figures, it further highlights China's shift towards high-tech, value added manufacturing.

But Chinese stocks closed lower on Monday and the iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index (ETF) (NYSE: FXI) was down 0.5 percent in midday trading after a political meeting held once every five years in China revealed Chinese politicians seem particularly concerned about risk and regulations. "Real estate investment, together with infrastructure investment, remained brisk and contributed to the strong growth in the second quarter", said Yu Yongding, an economist with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Part of China's economic health in the second quarter reflected robust exports, with demand beginning to recover in Europe and particularly the United States after a long period of depressed growth.

In terms of growth rate, India is placed behind smaller economies of Estonia, Uzbekistan and Nepal.

China Daily, the official English-language newspaper, said in a commentary Monday that fending off risks is one of the country's top priorities, with corporate debt running high, the property market being overheated and excess capacity in some sectors lingering.

The latest growth numbers will also likely reinforce skepticism among analysts about the reliability of official statistics.

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