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Growth in China holds steady, and better than expected, at 7%

Updated: Jul 15,2015 3:46 PM

China’s slowing economy appeared to stabilize somewhat in the second quarter, defying signs of weakness in the country’s traditional industrial base and more recent turbulence in its stock market.

China’s official statistics agency said on July 15 that gross domestic product rose 7 percent in the April to June quarter, beating economists’ expectations for a 6.8 percent increase. That matched the economy’s performance in the first quarter, and remained in line with the government’s target for full-year growth.

While economists have for years expressed concerns about the quality of China’s economic data, separate quarterly figures on retail sales, investment and industrial production released on July 15 were all better than forecast.

The economy appears to be benefiting from a number of policy changes, including interest-rate cuts and debt extensions for troubled local government borrowers. China’s housing market, which can have a broad impact on the rest of the economy, has in recent months shown signs of a nascent recovery.

At the same time, data for the second quarter probably received a boost from unprecedented trading turnover in China’s stock market, which has swung in dramatic boom-bust fashion over the past few months.

China’s market has partly recovered in recent days from a huge sell-off that began in June and erased several trillion dollars in market value.

-- The New York Times on July 15