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China’s Third-Quarter GDP Growth Meets Expectations, Reports 6.8% Growth

China’s Third-Quarter GDP Growth Meets Expectations, Reports 6.8% Growth
China’s third-quarter growth data met market expectations as the country reported the data on Thursday.
On a day after Chinese President Xi Jinping made big promises for the country's economic future during a pivotal leadership meeting, the country's National Bureau of Statistics said its third-quarter GDP growth was 6.8 percent compared to the same period last year.
Expectations of the market was that for the period from July to September, GDP would have marked a growth of 6.8 percent due to the government's efforts to cool the property market and cut debt risks even as a group of economists polled by Reuters had forecast China to post a modest drop from the second quarter. The forecast and the market expectations were a tad lower than the second quarter’s 6.9 per cent expansion in the Chinese economy.
For the first three quarters, a rosy picture of a steady but positive economic development was painted by the statement from the Chinese statistics bureau. Amid structural changes domestically, challenges that the economy has had to face in a complex international environment were also highlighted in the statement of the bureau.
"We've seen the benefits of a synchronized global recovery in play. Exports have been quite buoyant versus last year and that has really given China quite a bit of buffer in terms of reducing the reliance on leverage expansion, reducing the reliance on fixed asset investment," said Helen Zhu, head of China equities at BlackRock.
Zhu added that in terms of the growth required to reach targets, the rest of the economy "a very serious break" would be given by the current global recovery because China is still an export-sensitive market.
As China continues to reduce borrowing in the corporate sector, a better composition than before can be seen in the economy of that country even as the growth in the economy is now stable, said BlackRock's Zhu while describing Thursday's data release as being unsurprising.
While final consumption accounts for 64.5 percent of GDP growth in the first three quarters, September retail sales grew 10.3 percent from a year ago, said China's statistics bureau on Thursday.
Thanks to rapid household spending. First half GDP growth was 6.9 percent, the world's second-largest economy is likely to post growth of 7 percent in the second half of the year, the People’s’ Bank of China quoted its governor, Zhou Xiaochuan, as saying on Monday.
Earlier this year however, premier Li keqiangg had said that the country was aiming to expand its economy by around 6.5 percent in 2017 and the number quoted by the governor of the People’s’ Bank of China is more optimistic than the target China had set at that time for its growth in the rest of the year.
However, the veracity of China's GDP reports have long drawn skepticism from many outside experts and economists. 
As China pushes ahead with its planned and implemented reforms, the world's second-largest economy will move from high speed to high quality growth, Xi said on Wednesday.
Speaking on the future of the Chinese economy in the near term, Ricard Torne, head of economic research at Barcelona-based FocusEconomics said that as the country’s policymakers try to achieve more sustainable growth trajectory, China's economy will continue its "managed deceleration" in 2018 looking forward.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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