ABC 17 News, Weather And Sports

Jan 18, 5:18 AM EST

Exports, consumers drive China's 6.9 percent growth in 2017

Made in China: Too Many Imports Too Soon?
Latest News
China defends role in trade after US criticism

Exports, consumers drive China's 6.9 percent growth in 2017

China says cross-border cash flows hit turning point in '17

China criticizes US moves on intellectual property, telecoms

Apple supplier denies charges of unsafe, unclean conditions

Latest Business News
Bacardi lines up shot of Patron, buying all of tequila maker

How major US stock indexes fared on Monday

Pharma deals, shutdown pact help stocks set more records

Bioverativ, Juno and Halliburton rise; Sanmina-SCI tumbles

Short-term interest rates mixed at weekly Treasury auction

A district summary of the Beige Book
Measuring economic stress by county nationwide
Mall malaise: shoppers browse, but don't buy
Unemployment by the numbers
Family struggles with father's unemployment
Saying an affordable goodbye
Hard times hit small car dealer
Latest Economic News
IMF hikes outlook for global growth for 2017 to 3.7 percent

Long shutdown could hurt economy, a short one just 'a blip'

Puerto Rico finances under scrutiny amid plea for help

UK holiday spending squeezed by Brexit-related inflation

Exports, consumers drive China's 6.9 percent growth in 2017

Trump claims credit for what is still mostly Obama's economy

Russian government considers boost to social spending

Race is on for succession to Europe's top economic posts

UK inflation dips for first time since June

Despite merry holidays, retailers face challenges in 2018

Video photo gallery on trash in China
China celebrates 60th year
Panorama of Tiananmen Square
Remembering Tiananmen
A year after China quake
Migrant laborers struggle to find work
Checking Beijing's Air
China's morning exercises in parks
Exploring Chinese Cuisine
Beijing Architecture Changes For Games
Woman Rescues Homeless Quake Dogs
China Holds Funeral for Panda
China's 1-child Policy Causes Extra Pain
Map of Earthquake Zone in Central China
Entrepreneurs Move Into, Out of China
Olypmics in Beijing Highlight China's Water Woes
Foreign Buyers Head to China Despite Problems
Coal Use Produces Pollution, Illness
Coal Means Profit, Woes for China
China Extending Its Reach Around the World
In China, the Desert Closes In
Latest News
Hong Kong bookseller detained again by Chinese authorities

China defends role in trade after US criticism

Maldives ex-leader says Chinese projects akin to land grab

Philippines says it won't be embroiled in US-China sea spat

China says US warship violated sovereignty near Scarborough

Greece's Debt Threatens to Spread
State budget
gaps map
Auto industry problems trickle down, punish Tennessee county
Women give old Derby hats a makeover in tough economy
S.C. town deals with highest unemployment in South
How mortgages were bundled and sold as securities
Tracking the $700 billion financial bailout
Tracking the year's job losses
State-by-state foreclosures since 2007
Credit crisis explained
Presidents and their economic legacies
Lexicon of the financial crisis
Americans' addiction to debt
Audio Slideshow
Panorama of Tiananmen Square
Remembering Tiananmen

HONG KONG (AP) -- China's economy gained steam in 2017, expanding at a 6.9 percent pace in 2017 in its first annual increase in seven years, according to data released Thursday that exceeded economists' forecasts and the government's target.

Buoyant consumer spending and robust exports helped drive the faster expansion, as the economy defied expectations of weaker growth in the latter half of the year due to curbs on bank lending.

The data show China's communist leaders have some extra wiggle room as they strive to wean the economy away from reliance on wasteful and polluting industries and exports in favor of slower but more sustainable consumer spending. The rebalancing has been complicated by Beijing's repeated infusions of credit to prevent activity from slowing too much, which has pushed up debt that analysts say is the biggest threat to economic stability.

The government had set a target of 6.5 percent growth after the economy expanded at a 6.7 percent annual pace in 2016, its slowest in 26 years.

Growth in the fourth quarter held steady at 6.8 percent, though that was a tick slower than the 6.9 percent pace of growth in the first half of the year, the report said.

Retail sales rose 10.2 percent in 2017 while exports jumped 10.8 percent from a year earlier despite heightened trade tensions during U.S. President Donald Trump's first year in office.

"The national economy has maintained the momentum of stable and sound development and exceeded expectations," said the report released by the National Bureau of Statistics.

Continued strong demand should help support China's exports, said Louis Kuijs of Oxford Economics.

"While domestic demand should cool on tighter financial policy, China's policymakers want the slowdown in credit and the economy to be gradual. We project GDP growth to slow to 6.4 percent this year," he said in a commentary.

The upbeat data underscored debate over the veracity of official figures, following a recent spate of reports about local Chinese governments reporting fake or inaccurate economic data.

Earlier this week, Chen Qiufa, the governor of Liaoning province in China's rust-belt northeast region, admitted that economic figures were padded out from 2011 to 2014, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Similar cases have been reported recently by the port city of Tianjin and Inner Mongolia province.

Such practices have gone on for decades in China. But by understating the severity of the slowdown in the past five years, officials now may be understating the scale of the rebound, some economists say.

"We have doubts about the accuracy of the official figures given how implausibly stable they have been in recent years," Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics said in a report, adding that his group's unofficial measure of activity showed a slower pace of growth but a more pronounced recovery.

"Admittedly, the monthly data for December, also published today, suggest that the economy had a relatively strong end to the year," he added.

The statistics bureau's commissioner, Ning Jizhe, told reporters that the recent cases of fake data involved small amounts, Individual cases won't make a big change to the overall statistical result, he said.

Earlier Thursday, China's foreign exchange regulator said the country's cross-border capital flows hit a turning point in 2017 as foreign currency reserve levels stabilized after two years of declines, the country's foreign exchange regulator.

Wang Chungying, a spokeswoman for China's State Administration of Foreign Exchange, told reporters in Beijing that the supply and demand of foreign exchange "have shifted to a basic equilibrium."

China's foreign exchange reserves rose for 11 straight months from January-December, expanding by a total of $129.4 billion last year to $3.1 trillion dollars, Wang said at an annual briefing.

© 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.