Saturday, September 22, 2018
  • share this

China posts better-than-expected 6.8% growth in Q1 2018

/ 12:16 PM April 17, 2018

This photo taken on April 16, 2018 shows cargo ships at a port in Lianyungang in China’s eastern Jiangsu province.
China’s economy grew a forecast-beating 6.8 percent in the first quarter, official data showed on April 17, overcoming Beijing’s battle on financial risk and pollution and trade tensions with the US. AFP

China’s economy grew a forecast-beating 6.8 percent in the first quarter of 2018, official data showed on Tuesday, overcoming Beijing’s battle on financial risk and pollution and trade tensions with the United States.

The world’s number two economy exceeded the 6.7 percent growth forecast by analysts surveyed by AFP, and equaled the fourth quarter performance.


“The national economy maintained the momentum of steady and sound development,” said Xing Zhihong, a spokesman for the National Statistics Bureau. “The economic performance continued to improve and the economy was off to a good start.”

China’s sustained growth shows the economy has remained resilient even as Beijing kicked its war on pollution into a high gear during the winter months by cutting production for many steel smelters, mills and factories.

Fears of a trade war with the US have also roiled markets in recent weeks, with Washington and Beijing exchanging warnings of tit-for-tat tariffs on a significant portion of their bilateral trade. The tensions have yet to cause real harm to the economy, analysts said, but that may change in coming months when tariffs threatened by US President Donald Trump are expected to be implemented.

“Years of unfair trade have hammered American families and plundered American wealth,” Trump said on Friday in his weekly address.

“It’s been absolutely terrible for our country,” he also said, adding his administration was proposing tariffs to “save our industries for the future”.

“We have no other choice,” Trump further said.

The threatened tariffs on a $150 billion worth of Chinese goods, and $50 billion of US goods, would dent economic growth on both sides of the Pacific, analysts said.

Debt fears

For the last decade, about 20 percent of China’s exports have been ferried to the US, according to Moody’s Investors Services, which forecasts a material macro-economic impact if Trump makes good on his threats with the consequences vibrating beyond China’s end exporters and deep into the economy.


Along with exports, debt-fuelled investment has driven China’s economy over the last decade – but with fears growing over a possible credit crisis, officials in Beijing are stepping up their battle against debt and financial risk.

Output at China’s factories and workshops expanded 6.8 percent year-on-year for the first quarter, matching the expansion seen during the same period last year, but below the 6.9 percent forecast by Bloomberg News.

Industrial production grew by six percent in March.

Last week, China’s central bank released data showing total financing grew at 10.5 percent in March, the slowest pace on record, according to China-focused economist Andrew Polk.

Analysts said the financial risk battle will take a toll on growth but China is counting on its 1.4 billion consumers to pick up the slack.

Economic data showed China’s savers spending with retail sales growing 9.8 percent in the first quarter on-year, outpacing forecasts of 9.7 percent by Bloomberg News. /kga

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: China, economy
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Chris Cornell box set coming November 16

September 22, 2018 07:19 PM


Ateneo shuts down NU, improves to 2-1

September 22, 2018 06:44 PM

© Copyright 1997-2018 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.