BEIJING — China’s economy grew 6.7 percent in the third quarter of 2016, holding steady from the second quarter and fueling hopes that the Chinese government will achieve this year’s GDP target.
The figure, released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Oct 19, remained within the government’s targeted range of between 6.5 and 7 percent for 2016.
On a quarterly basis, the economy increased 1.8 percent from the second quarter.
GDP expanded 6.7 percent year on year in the first three quarters of 2016 to reach 52.997 trillion yuan ($7.87 trillion).
NBS spokesperson Sheng Laiyun said China’s economy grew steadily, with progress made and quality improved, as a result of appropriately expanded aggregate demand, supply-side structural reform, positive development anticipation and accelerated fostering of new drivers.
The structure of industry and demand continued to improve in the first three quarters. Data on Oct 19 showed the added value of the tertiary sector accounted for 52.8 percent of the country’s GDP, up 1.6 percentage points year on year.
Consumers contributed a staggering 71 percent to economic growth in the first three quarters, up 13.3 percentage points on the same period last year, while energy consumption per unit of GDP dropped 5.2 percent.
Agricultural production remained stable with 139.26 million tonnes of summer grain output, the second-best seasonal performance in history, with expectation of a good harvest this autumn.
Thanks largely to strong performance in the high-tech and equipment manufacturing sectors, the country’s industrial output expanded 6 percent in the first three quarters. The growth rate was unchanged from the first six months, the NBS said.
Industrial output is used to measure the activity of large designated enterprises with annual turnover of at least 20 million yuan.
Retail sales of consumer goods grew 10.4 percent year on year in the first three quarters this year, accelerating from the 10.3 percent growth posted in the first half of the year, on the back of robust online sales.
Fixed-asset investment (FAI), which includes capital spent on infrastructure, property, machinery and other physical assets, grew 8.2 percent in the first three quarters year-on-year, though slowed by 0.8 percentage points compared with the first two quarters.
September FAI growth accelerated to 9 percent year on year, compared with 8.2 percent in August.
Investment in the property sector rose 5.8 percent year on year in the first nine months of 2016, higher than 5.4 percent posted in the first eight months, and 5.3 percent posted for the January-July period.