China’s economy expanded at a slower pace in the third quarter of this year, but still remained within the “reasonable range” set by policymakers, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Oct 21.
The gross domestic product expanded 7.3 percent from a year ago in the third quarter, compared with 7.5 percent in the second quarter and 7.4 percent in the first quarter of this year, the NBS data showed.
The GDP growth in the July-September period marked the slowest quarterly growth since the first quarter of 2009 and was in line with market expectations.
On a quarterly basis, GDP in the third quarter was 1.9 percent larger than that in the April-June period, according to the NBS.
For the first nine months, the GDP rose 7.4 percent year-on-year to reach 42 trillion yuan ($6.84 trillion).
“In general, the economy has maintained steady development momentum in the first three quarters, but the environment at home and abroad remains complex,” Sheng Laiyun, the NBS spokesman, said at a press conference, citing difficulties and challenges ahead.
Calling the slower growth a “new normal,” Sheng said China will keep stable macro policies that are subject to forward-looking fine-tuning when appropriate to ensure steady and healthy economic growth.
The NBS spokesman saw progress in restructuring the economy in the first three quarters, with the service industry accounting for 46.7 percent of the GDP, 1.2 percentage points higher than the same period last year.
Retail consumption contributed 48.5 percent of growth in the period, or 2.7 percentage points more than last year.
Per capita household disposable income outpaced GDP growth in the January-September period, increasing 8.2 percent in real terms year-on-year while inflation stood at relatively low levels, according to the NBS.
The income gap between urban and rural households also narrowed in the period as rural households registered real growth of 9.7 percent in per capita cash income, compared with an increase of 6.9 percent in disposable income in real terms for their urban peers.