SHANGHAI — Stimulus measures propelled a better-than-expected 6.7 percent jump in China’s second-quarter gross domestic product, in line with the growth registered in the first quarter. Meanwhile, retail sales grew 10.3 percent.
The country’s National Bureau of Statistics released the economic data Friday showing quarter-on-quarter growth of 1.8 percent. The bureau said China faces “complicated domestic and external conditions and mounting downward economic pressure,” but it said the government’s efforts to stabilize the world’s second-largest economy have placed it on track to meet its growth goals for the year.
In March, Premier Li Keqiang announced that the government’s growth target for 2016 would be GDP growth in the range of 6.5 to 7 percent.
According to Capital Economics analysts the relatively stable economic performance was largely led by government stimulus rather than the private sector.
“Surging stimulus-linked investments by state firms appear to have compensated for the private sector’s unwillingness to invest,” Capital Economics wrote in a note.
Also included in the bureau’s data release Friday were retail sales figures for the first half, which showed a year-on-year rise of 10.3 percent. Urban areas saw retail sales growth of 10.2 percent, slightly outstripped by the 11 percent growth seen in rural areas.
Online retail sales continued to show rapid growth, with first-half sales topping 2.2 billion yuan, $329 billion at current exchange, a year-on-year growth of 28.2 percent.
Last month, Li called for calm at a time of economic upheaval both in China and around the world on the heels of the historic referendum result in favor of the U.K. leaving the European Union, or Brexit.