China posts 6.9% quarterly GDP growth, exceeds govt target
China's economy beat the government target and grew by a healthy 6.9 per cent in the first quarter this year mainly due to a surge in infrastructure investment and exports, official data said on Monday, signalling a steady growth in the world's second largest economy.
The growth was well above the full-year target of 6.5 per cent, and the 6.8 per cent increase registered in the fourth quarter of 2016, China's National Bureau of Statistics said.
The GDP reached 18.07 trillion yuan ($2.63 trillion) in the first quarter.
The NBS statement said, "the national economy maintained the momentum of steady and sound development from the second half of last year, getting off to a good start in 2017 and laying a solid foundation for accomplishing the whole-year growth target".
The official data also suggested a pick-up in domestic consumption as February retail sales jumped 10.9 per cent from the previous year.
China is trying to boost domestic consumption to shift focus of its export reliant economy, which is also driven by massive state investments in improving the infrastructure.
Also, China's exports, which were on a declining trend in recent years, showed increase in Q1 in Yuan terms.
China's exports in yuan-denominated terms rose 14.8 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter, while imports increased 31.1 per cent, customs data released on April 13 said.
Foreign trade volume reached 6.2 trillion yuan (about $902 billion) in the first quarter, up 21.8 per cent year on year.
As per the data released on Monday by the NBS, China's fixed-asset investment (FAI) grew 9.2 per cent year-on-year in the first three months of 2017, quickening from the 8.9 per cent growth registered in the first two months.
FAI includes capital spent on infrastructure, property, machinery and other physical assets.
Private sector FAI, which accounts for more than 60 percent of the total FAI, grew 7.7 per cent in the first quarter, accelerating from the 6.