Business

China's growth beats forecasts as economy shows signs of stability

BEIJING: China's economy expanded more than expected in the first three months of the year as government moves to kick-start growth helped offset weak global demand and a US trade war, data showed yesterday.

The 6.4 per cent reading was the latest in a string of figures indicating the world's No. 2 economy and key driver of global growth is stabilising after decelerating every quarter last year, though officials warned of headwinds.

"The national economy enjoyed stable performance with growing positive factors, and stronger market expectation and confidence," said National Bureau of Statistics spokesman Mao Shengyong.

"Given slowing global economic growth and international trade, increasing international uncertainties and prominent domestic structural issues, the task of reform and development is arduous and downward pressure on the economy persists," said Mr Mao.

Top policymakers in Beijing last month unveiled a number of major plans to support the flagging economy with massive tax cuts, fee reductions and financing support.

Officials pressed on with the drive to shift China to a more sustainable growth model, strengthened policies to counter the downturn and "spared no effort to put the policies into effect", said Mr Mao.

Beijing faces a delicate balancing act as it tries to support businesses in need of credit, without further inflating its debt balloon.

New credit flooded into the financial system last month, with the growth of bank loans and total outstanding credit accelerating - thanks to measures to boost lending - though analysts say it will take six months to spark a full economic turnaround.- AFP

BUSINESS & FINANCE