Chinese growth back on track at highest for two years

China's economy had its foot on the gas in 2017. Official data published Thursday January18 2018 showed the world's second largest economy grew 6.9% last year beating analysts earlier expectations. The performance was helped by government stimulus

The unexpected strength of the Chinese economy over the past year has supported a synchronized pickup in global growth while helping fuel the economies of Asia, for many of which China is the main export market.

China's gross domestic product (GDP) reached 82.71 trillion yuan (about $12.84 trillion) in 2017, with the service sector accounting for more than half of the total.

They rose 0.6 percent versus a 0.5 percent increase in November, the NBS said.

For the full year, China produced 32.27 million tonnes of aluminum, a rise of 1.6 percent from 2016, the data showed.

The annual growth easily beat the government's 2017 target of around 6.5 percent and quickened from 6.7 percent in 2016, the weakest pace in 26 years.

Cape Town tries to avoid "Day Zero"
Cape Town Mayor, Patricia de Lille said explaining the alarming situation "We're losing 1 percent of our dams, 1.5 every week". As the drought worsens, the city is expected to turn taps off in April. "The amount in the dams will take months to recover".

Local government debt expanded again in China previous year despite Beijing's pledge to rein in a growing national debt load that has sparked fears of a financial crisis in the world's number two economy. Officials in far-flung regions are admitting their numbers are wrong. "Some cooling of growth momentum at the start of 2018 would thus be welcome to curtail price pressures". The retail sales grew at a slower pace in cars, telecommunications, oil, jewelry, and more. The figures were released yesterday by the finance ministry.

New home prices in second and third-tier cities rose 0.6 percent and 0.5 percent month on month, respectively, both 0.1 percentage points faster than that in November. Import figures usually surge in the month before New Year - so the market will be looking at January to see if there is a blip.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had projected that the Chinese economy would grow by 6.8 per cent in 2017 and 6.5 per cent this year, while the World Bank had estimated the country would grow by 6.7 per cent in 2017 and 6.4 per cent in 2018.

At the same time, China was already forecasting that its GDP growth would be higher than the official target.

The International Monetary Fund has repeatedly warned of risks stemming from China's ballooning debt, saying past year that each extra dollar of debt is producing diminishing returns for China's economy.

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