China's 1Q economic growth ticks higher to 6.9 percent

Chinese migrant workers return to their temporary construction camp at a construction site in Beijing, China, 17 April 2017. Relatively cheap credit spurred booming property sales.

Workers survey the construction site of the terminal for the Beijing New Airport in Beijing's southern Daxing District, China October 10, 2016.

Here's what juiced real estate prices even more: The country's domestic debt ratio (total debt to GDP) rose by 28% of Chinese GDP in the 12 months through last June-which was a faster pace than during China's 2008-2009 stimulus boom, according to Emerging Advisors Group.

China's economy grew 6.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2017, government data showed on Monday, beating expectations in the latest sign of stabilisation in the world's second-largest economy. Last year, 64.6 per cent of growth came from consumption.

The value of China's home sales remained buoyant in March, according to data released Monday by the National Bureau of Statistics.

Fears of being dragged into a trade and currency war with the U.S. have abated after U.S. President Donald Trump toned down his previously antagonistic comments against Beijing.

A summit earlier this month with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) ended calmly and the US Department of the Treasury did not label China a currency manipulator in its latest assessment.

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Retail spending increase 10.9%, more than estimated, whereas the fixed-asset investments grew 9.2% in the first quarter of the current year, showing a little improvement from February. Industrial production rose 6.8%, including a stronger-than- expected 7.6% year-on-year gain in March.

Beside the headline figures, other major indicators also showed a resilient economy.

The economist said the current strength of capital spending still remains heavily reliant on rapid state- led infrastructure investment.

This decline in growth experienced by China's secondary industries, "the core of China's old economy", is part of an ongoing transition to a new economy, the bank said.

Analysts had expected quarterly growth would ease to 1.6%, so on that basis there was a noticeable slowing in the pace of activity in the three months to March, despite higher production figures for steel, electricity and rail freight. Nordea estimates that last year's 19% increase in housing prices across the nation resulted in a wealth increase of more than 38,000 yuan ($5,516) per head, which is 1.6 times the per capita annual disposable income.

Some of the more draconian government policies included requiring newly bought homes to be held for at least two to three years before they could be sold, a measure against short-term speculation and hailed by analysts as a "policy innovation".

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