Posted on Beijing Bulletin
Saturday January 21st, 2017
China’s quarter four gross domestic product growth was at 6.8 percent, exceeding the forecasts of 6.7 percent, supported by higher government spending and record bank lending, figures released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics said.
The data helped China shares move up but did have significant impact on regional markets.
Finishing the year on a positive note, consumers stepped up spending and the property market rebounded.
For the full year, China’s economy grew 6.7 percent, in line with estimates from the head of China’s state planning agency, who said on January 10 that the economy likely grew around 6.7 percent last year, according to Reuters.
The figure was, however, down from 6.9 percent in 2015, and the worst reading since 1990.
Consumption accounted for 64.6 percent of GDP in 2016 and property development also contributed to growth, with total investment rising 6.9 percent for the year, up 5.9 percentage points from 2015.
Helen Zhu, head of China equities at Blackrock, told CNBC it was a «solid set» of numbers, particularly compared with «strong doubts» about the economy a year ago.
«The property sector, the auto sectors are quite buoyant for the year on the back of some loosening. I think those are all positive surprises in 2016. All in all, a much better year than people had previously anticipated,» she said.
Meanwhile, NBS director Ning Jizhe told reporters in Beijing, «China’s economy was within a proper range with improved quality and efficiency. However, we should also be aware that the domestic and external conditions are still complicated and severe.»
The growth was the weakest witnessed in more than 25 years, showing signs that the outlook for the country is uncertain.
Leaders are trying to reduce the country’s reliance on exports and state-backed investment and instead focus on domestic consumer spending to drive expansion.
However, the road has been difficult, with the all-important manufacturing sector struggling in the face of lessening global demand and excess industrial capacity left over from an infrastructure boom.