China Q3 GDP up to 7.8%, boosted by higher government spending
BEIJING (AP) — China’s economic growth rebounded in the latest quarter, easing pressure on communist leaders for more stimulus and allowing them to focus on longer-term reforms.
The world’s second-largest economy grew by 7.8% over a year earlier in the three months ending in September, boosted by higher government spending, data showed Friday. That was up from a two-decade low of 7.5% the previous quarter.
“The fundamentals of China’s economy are turning for the better,” said a National Bureau of Statistics spokesman, Sheng Laiyun, at a news conference.
The improvement eases pressure on communist leaders who say their priority is longer-term reforms aimed at steering the economy to slower, more sustainable growth based on domestic consumption instead of exports and investment.
The abrupt drop in global demand for Chinese goods prompted them to backtrack temporarily and launch a mini-stimulus of higher spending on railway construction and other public works to prop up growth and avoid politically dangerous job losses.
Communist leaders are due to meet in November to craft an economic development blueprint that reform advocates hope will include market-opening and more financial support to private entrepreneurs.
The country’s top economic official, Premier Li Keqiang, said earlier Beijing would try to keep growth above 7.5%. That is far above levels forecast for the United States, Europe and Japan but barely half of 2009’s 14.2% growth.
Asian stock markets were boosted by the Chinese growth figure but analysts have warned the rebound might not last because growth depends on government spending. Global demand is weak and Chinese consumer spending is growing more slowly than Beijing wants.