Chinese economy slows but on track to beat target

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BEIJING: China's economy slowed marginally in the third quarter but is well on course to beat the government's annual target, cementing President Xi Jinping's standing as he prepares to be handed a second term in power at a Communist Party conclave.

The world's No. 2 economy expanded 6.8 per cent for July to September. While the figures released yesterday were slightly down from the 6.9 per cent of the previous two quarters, they indicated stability after a years-long slowdown in growth.

"The national economy has maintained the momentum of stable and sound development in the first three quarters, with favourable factors accumulating for the economy to maintain medium-high rate of growth," said National Statistics Bureau spokesman Xing Zhihong.

"However, we must be aware that international conditions remain complicated and volatile and the national economy is still at a crucial stage of restructuring with the foundation for sound development yet to be consolidated."

While well off the breakneck rates of a decade ago, the reading was in line with a survey of analysts by AFP and put the economy well on course to eclipse the official target of about 6.5 per cent for the whole year.

The economy grew 6.7 per cent last year, which was its slowest pace for more than a quarter of a century.- AFP