China's second-quarter growth tops expectations

Inflation drops to 16.10% — first time in 12 months

China's GDP rose 6.9 percent year on year in the second quarter of 2017, flat from the first quarter, official data showed Monday.

In contrast, the output of raw coal increased 10.6 percent year on year to 310 million tonnes in June, the fourth consecutive month of growth, the NBS said in a statement.

Investment grew 8.6 percent year-on-year in the first six months, down 0.6 percentage point from the first quarter.

For the April-June period, a large number of analysts had predicted that the Asia powerhouse's growth to slip to 6.8 percent, while the Chinese government is trying to curb a ballooning debt pile and tame hot property prices.

Debt-fueled investment in infrastructure and real estate has underpinned China's growth for years.

The central government's fiscal deficit was 4.3 percent of GDP in the latest four quarters' data, slightly more than the 4.1 percent of GDP deficit in the year-earlier period.

The economy grew by 6.9 percent in the second quarter, the same pace as in the first quarter.

The economy expanded by 6.9 percent, the same as the first three months of the year, according to the statistics bureau, and better than the 6.8 percent growth forecast by analysts polled by AFP.

NBS' spokesman Xing Zhihong also suggested further growth in rebalancing the economy this year saying upbeat changes in the economy will rise, with the trend of stable and improving growth strengthening and expanding even more.

Retail sales also impressed, lifting by 11% from a year earlier.

The improving economy is no doubt welcome news ahead of an autumn congress of the ruling Communist Party of China, at which President Xi Jinping is widely expected to tighten his grip on power, with leadership keen to ensure a smooth run-up to the meetings.

Industrial production rose 7.6% year-on-year, while fixed asset investment investment increased 8.6% in the first half of the year.

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