China’s economy expands by 6.9pc in 2017, ending six years of slowing growth

Uptick likely to give President Xi Jinping fresh confidence in growth model as nation on course to become world’s biggest economy within a decade

By Frank Tang

China’s gross domestic product rose by 6.9 per cent in 2017, reversing a downward growth trend for the first time since 2010 in an indication of strong resilience in the world’s second-largest economy.

In nominal terms, GDP rose by 11.2 per cent to 82.7 trillion yuan (US$12.86 trillion), from 74.4 trillion yuan in 2016, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday.

The strong performance is expected to give Beijing more room to tackle debt and financial risks in 2018, which President Xi Jinping said was a “critical battle” to fight.

Iris Pang, chief Greater China economist at ING, said the possibility of a “crisis” had been largely removed, but Beijing still needed to be cautious as it continued with its process of financial deleveraging.