China Q1 GDP grows slightly more than expected

Workers moor a container ship at the port in Qingdao in Shandong province. China’s economic growth held steady at 6.8% over a year earlier in the quarter ending in March. (AP photo)

BEIJING: China’s economy grew 6.8% in the first quarter of 2018 from a year earlier,
official data showed on Tuesday, slightly above expectations and unchanged from the previous quarter.

The data points to continued resilience in the world’s second-largest economy even as its export outlook is being clouded by escalating tensions with the United States, its largest trading partner.

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.

Growth remained comfortably above the government’s target of around 6.5% for the full year, which could give policymakers more confidence to step up efforts to reduce risks in the financial system and clean up the environment.

On a quarterly basis, GDP in the first quarter grew 1.4%, compared with revised growth of 1.6% in October-December, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

Analysts had expected growth of 1.5% on a quarterly basis.

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