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China GDP accelerates sharply in Q4

Staff Writer |
China's economic expansion accelerated slightly at the end of 2016, official government data revealed, but more timely figures for December appeared to point to a slowdown in activity.

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During the fourth quarter, China's gross domestic product expanded at a year-on-year clip of 6.8%, following three consecutive quarters of growth at 6.7%, data published by the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

A fourth quarter of identical GDP growth would have pushed the credibility of government statisticians in Beijing, Evans-Pritchard mused.

The economy was likely growing closer to 6.4%, Capital Economics said, referencing readings from its own 'in-house' proxy for Chinese growth, but after growth of just 5.3% in the third quarter and of 4.4% in the first half of 2016.

Other data included readings on retail sales, industrial production and fixed asset investment.

Retail sales grew by 10.9% on the year in December (consensus: 10.7%), versus 10.8% in the month before.

Industrial production, on the other hand, grew by 6.0% year-on-year, down from a 6.2% pace.

Fixed asset investment also ticked lower, growing by 8.1% for all of 2016, which was down from the 8.3% observed over the first eleven months of the year.

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