China’s Q1 GDP flat at 6.8 pct

TOKYO, China’s economy grew 6.8 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2018, official data showed Tuesday.

Gross domestic product (GDP) growth of the world’s No.2 economy in the January-March period was unchanged for three consecutive quarters, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The index was well above the government-set 2018 growth target of around 6.5 percent.

“The economy is off to a good start,” bureau spokesman Xing Zhihong told a press conference in Beijing, noting sound momentum in development, steady progress in upgrading, and improved quality and efficiency of the economy, according to state-run Xinhua News Agency.

The GDP growth rate has stayed within the range of 6.7 percent to 6.9 percent for 11 quarters, with the jobless rate and inflation remaining stable, Xing said. New businesses and industries continued to grow fast, corporate profit and resident incomes steadily increased, while consumption and services played a bigger role in driving growth, he said.

“Looking ahead, the favorable conditions and factors to support high-quality development are increasing, and the economy will continue to maintain stable development with a positive outlook,” he said. Xing also highlighted possible impacts from rising protectionism, monetary policy adjustments by major economies and financial market turbulence.

The US administration has proposed tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese goods and, in the latest move to heighten tensions, announced activation of denial of export privileges against leading Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp. Xing said China is “fully capable” of handling trade tensions with the US, citing the country’s increasingly domestic-led growth, growing innovation edge, and ample room for development and policy control.

“The economy has plenty of resilience, potential and leeway. The Sino-US trade frictions cannot stump the Chinese economy, nor can they change its sound momentum of sustained and healthy growth,” he told reporters.

Source: Kuwait News Agency