Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

China's Economy Remains Robust: Q1 GDP Growth at 6.8% Year-on-Year

China's Economy Remains Robust: Q1 GDP Growth at 6.8% Year-on-Year

BEIJING-China's economy expanded at a faster-than-expected 6.8% in the first quarter, buoyed by robust sales at home and overseas and ramped-up industrial production.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected gross domestic product to expand 6.7% in the January-March quarter, slowing only marginally from 6.8 percent growth in the previous two quarters. The economy had grown 6.9 percent in the first two quarters of past year.

"They are trying to deleverage the economy, they are also trying to reign in some of that credit growth", Sian Fenner, economist at Oxford Economics told CNBC on Tuesday ahead of China's first-quarter GDP release.

Analysts are watching to see if trade tensions with the United States will develop into a major risk going forward.

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"Consumption is really strong, there is strong wage growth in urban areas".

Industrial output was perhaps the biggest downside surprise, expanding 6.0 per cent in March on-year, the slowest pace in seven months. There was a 35 percent rise in online shopping compared to the same period past year.

The data showed investment in real estate development rose 10.4 percent from a year earlier, while fixed asset investment, including spending on infrastructure, rose 7.5 percent.

Efforts by the Chinese leadership to rein in mounting local government debt, coupled with suspensions in public works projects in some parts of China, could weigh on the economy down the road.

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