China’s economy grew 6.9 percent in the first quarter of 2017, government data showed Monday, beating expectations in the latest sign of stabilization in the world’s second-largest economy.
The reading was better than the median analyst expectation of 6.8 percent in an AFP poll.
“The national economy in the first quarter has maintained the momentum of steady and sound development,” the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement.
It added that “positive changes kept emerging and major indicators performed better than expected”.
The government has trimmed its 2017 GDP growth target to “around 6.5 percent” as the world’s second-largest economy, already expanding at the slowest pace in a quarter-century, faces an array of challenges.
The economy grew 6.7 percent in 2016, its slowest rate since 1990.
Monday’s data also showed China’s industrial output growth rose to 7.6 percent year-on-year in March, beating an estimate of 6.3 by Bloomberg News.
Retail spending grew a forecast-beating 10.9 percent, while fixed-asset investment rose 9.2 percent in the first three months of the year, representing a slight acceleration from February.
China’s stock market regulator has approved the initial public offering (IPO) applications of 10 companies.
The companies will be allowed to raise up to 5.1 billion yuan (about 741.9 million U.S. dollars), China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) said in a statement.
Six companies will be listed on the Shanghai bourse, one on the Shenzhen small- and medium-enterprise board and three on the ChiNext, China’s NASDAQ-style board.
The 10 firms and their underwriters will confirm the dates for the IPOs and publish prospectuses following discussions with the exchanges.
Under the current IPO system, new shares are subject to approval from the CSRC, which controls both the timing and pricing.
China is working on transforming its IPO approval system into one based on registration, which will allow the bourses to take over IPO approvals and clear the backlog of waiting companies.