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China’s economy expands steadily despite headwinds

Updated: Jul 15,2019 02:46 PM    Xinhua

BEIJING — China’s GDP expanded 6.3 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2019 to about 45.09 trillion yuan ($6.6 trillion), data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on July 15.

The growth was in line with the government’s annual target of 6-6.5 percent set for 2019.

In the second quarter, the country’s GDP rose 6.2 percent year-on-year, lower than 6.4 percent in the first quarter, according to the data.

The economic performance was generally stable and remained within a reasonable range, with progress made in certain areas, bureau spokesman Mao Shengyong told a news conference.

The 6.3-percent GDP increase, achieved amid slower global economic growth, weak expansion of international trade and domestic downward pressure, made China still one of the world’s fastest-growing major economies, Mao said.

A breakdown of the data showed the output of the service sector, which accounted for 54.9 percent of the total GDP, rose 7 percent in the first half, outpacing a 3-percent increase in the primary industry and a 5.8-percent rise in the secondary industry.

Consumption continued to play a major role in driving economic growth, with final consumption contributing to 60.1 percent of economic expansion in the January-June period.

Retail sales, a gauge of consumption, rose 8.4 percent in H1, accelerating from 8.3 percent in the first quarter. Fixed-asset investment climbed 5.8 percent during the period, up from 5.6 percent for January-May.

Industrial output expanded 6 percent, down from 6.5 percent registered in the first quarter. In June alone, industrial output growth accelerated to 6.3 percent from 5 percent in May.

Consumer inflation and the job market remained stable. The consumer price index rose 2.2 percent in H1, within the government’s annual control target of around 3 percent. The surveyed unemployment rate in urban areas stood at 5.1 percent in June, below the government’s annual target of around 5.5 percent.

The H1 data has offered a good foundation for the country to realize its annual growth targets, Mao said.

Although facing a complex external environment and emerging downward pressure in the second half, the country’s fundamentals for a steady economic growth remain unchanged and the government has ample room for policy maneuvers, he said.

After the release of the data, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index climbed to end 0.76 percent higher in the morning session at 2,952.85 points.

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