China economic expansion held up amid robust consumer spending, underpinning global growth and giving authorities more room to purge excessive borrowing.
Gross domestic product increased 6.8 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, matching the pace from the previous quarter as projected in a Bloomberg survey.
Retail sales increased 10.1 percent in March from a year earlier, compared with a 9.7 percent forecast.
Industrial production rose 6.0 percent last month, versus a projected 6.3 percent.
Fixed-asset investment climbed 7.5 percent in the first three months.
The urban monthly surveyed unemployment rate stood at 5.1 percent at end-March.
Steady growth offers support for President Xi Jinping’s mission to shore up financial stability, one of Beijing’s top goals along with reducing poverty and curbing pollution. The robust pace of expansion is a tailwind for the global economy seen maintaining its solid performance this year, providing needed support in the form of strong demand for China’s exports.
People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang last week said economic indicators performed better than expected in the first quarter amid continued improvement in the global outlook.
Headwinds may strengthen in coming months should Xi’s so-called critical battles against financial risk and pollution bite deeper or if trade tensions with the U.S. intensify. Property and infrastructure activity will weaken in the second half, though manufacturing investment, solid consumption and strong external demand will cushion the impact, says UBS Group AG.
Source : Bloomberg