China’s economy expanded faster than expected in the second quarter, as traditional growth sectors continued to underpin the economy.
The National Bureau of Statistics said gross domestic product (GDP) expanded at an annualized 6.9% in the second quarter, unchanged from the previous quarter and well within the government’s target range of 6.5% to 7%.
Analysts in a median forecast called for quarterly growth of 6.8%.
Compared to Q1, GDP expanded 1.7%, official data showed.
Over the past four quarters, the Chinese economy has relied on government spending and access to cheap credit to fuel a faster than expected expansion. At the same time, efforts to curb a red hot housing market have largely come up short amid a resurgence of demand. Buyers anticipating further restrictions on housing have flooded the market after authorities introduced curbs back in March.
China’s dollar-denominated trade surplus with the rest of the world strengthened to $42.77 billion in June. Beijing’s surplus wit the United States reached 20-month highs – a finding that could reignite political friction between the two economic superpowers.
The National Bureau of Statistics released a barrage of other data on Monday that pointed to faster expansion at the tail end of the second quarter. Retail sales, which measure private and government spending, rose 11% annually last month. That was a notable improvement from May’s 10.7% growth rate.
Industrial production, the broadest measure of factory output, expanded 7.6% in the 12 months through June. That was well above the previous month’s 6.5% growth pace.
Meanwhile, annual fixed-asset investment – a proxy for long-term spending – 8.6% in the six months through June.