China's Q3 GDP growth accelerates to 7.8 pct

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-10-18 10:22:51

Citizens visit a real estate fair in east China's Shanghai Municipality, Oct. 3, 2013. China's gross domestic product (GDP) totaled 38.7 trillion yuan (6.25 trillion U.S. dollars) in the first three quarters of 2013, with the growth at 7.8 percent in the third quarter of the year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced Friday, Oct. 18.

China's gross domestic product (GDP) growth accelerated to 7.8 percent in the third quarter, up from 7.5 percent in the second quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced on Friday.

Growth in the first nine months stood at 7.7 percent, in line with market expectations and above the government's full-year target of 7.5 percent.

"China's economy has grown steadily with major indicators staying within the rational range," Sheng Laiyun, a spokesman for the NBS, told a press conference.

According to the NBS, GDP totaled 38.68 trillion yuan (6.3 trillion US dollars) in the first nine months.

"Major economic indicators are in favor of promoting economic restructuring and pushing forward reforms," Sheng said, adding that the authorities would let the market play a better role to bring out the economy's intrinsic vigor.

The latest GDP figures headed a string of other data showing a rebound in the world's second-largest economy after China's full-year annual growth eased to 7.8 percent last year, its weakest since 1999.

Industrial output increased 9.6 percent year on year in the first nine months of 2013, while the growth of fixed-asset investment, a measure of government and private spending on infrastructure, stood at 20.2 percent during the period, up 0.1 percentage points over the first half of the year.

Retail sales, a key indicator of consumer spending, increased 12.9 percent from a year earlier. The growth rate picked up by 0.2 percentage points from the first half, according to the NBS.

Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed confidence in China's economic future while addressing the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO summit on the Indonesian resort island of Bali earlier this month.

"Impetus comes from reform, regulation and innovation," he said, adding that the slowdown is an intended result of China's own regulatory initiatives.

Zhang Liqun, of the Development Research Center of the State Council, said the Chinese economy has stabilized after the downward trend of past quarters, as shown by the GDP data.

"It must be clarified that the country's economy is moving towards steady growth, rather than a new rising trend," Zhang said.

Zhang said growth in the final quarter of the year might see a slight drop from this quarter, and it would be normal to see a growth between 7 to 8 percent.

Liu Shucheng, an expert with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, echoed Zhang's views, saying that the momentum for a continued rebound in the final quarter is not going to be very strong.

The rebound in the third quarter was mainly driven by strong industrial output growth in July and August, as the production growth in September came down, according to Liu.

NBS data showed China's industrial production rose 10.2 percent year on year in September, down from August's 10.4-percent increase.

"The endogenous impetus of China's growth is still relatively weak at present, as demand at home and abroad is flagging," Liu said.

Liu forecast GDP growth in the last quarter dropping to 7.6 percent and growth for the whole year between 7.6 and 7.7 percent.

Kuang Xianming, head of the economic research center with the China Institute for Reform and Development, is more optimistic, citing rising quarter-on-quarter GDP growth in the first three quarters.

GDP grew by 2.2 percent in the third quarter over the second quarter, up from a quarter-on-quarter growth of 1.7 percent in the second quarter and 1.6 percent in the first.

The accelerating quarter-on-quarter growth shows the economy has stabilized, and may grow at 7.9 to 8 percent for the whole year, Kuang said.

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