People visit a software product and information service trade fair in Nanjing, east China's Jiangsu Province, Sept. 8, 2017. China's economy continued its firm growth in the first three quarters of this year, with gross domestic product expanding 6.9 percent year on year to 59.3288 trillion yuan (about 8.9614 trillion U.S. dollars), official data showed Thursday. (Xinhua/Su Yang)
BEIJING, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- China's economy continued its firm growth in the first three quarters of this year, with gross domestic product expanding 6.9 percent year on year to 59.3288 trillion yuan (about 8.9614 trillion U.S. dollars), official data showed Thursday.
The growth rate held steady from a 6.9-percent increase in the first half of this year and is well above the government's target for the year of 6.5 percent.
In the third quarter, China's GDP was up 6.8 percent year on year, compared with 6.9 percent in the second quarter, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
This is the ninth straight quarter for China to see growth of 6.7 percent to 6.9 percent, maintaining medium-high growth and adding to evidence of further economic resilience, NBS spokesperson Xing Zhihong told a press conference.
"The Chinese economy has maintained steady growth with a positive outlook in the first three quarters," he said.
Improvements have been made in both economic structure and growth quality, and new growth engines are gaining steam, said Xing.
The service sector expanded 7.8 percent year on year in the first three quarters, outpacing a 3.7-percent increase in primary industry and 6.3 percent in secondary industry, according to the NBS.
In the Jan-Sept period, China's value-added industrial output expanded 6.7 percent year on year, faster than the 6-percent increase a year ago. Retail sales of consumer goods grew 10.4 percent year on year, according to the NBS.
Meanwhile, fixed-asset investment rose 7.5 percent from the same period last year, slightly down from 7.8 percent for January-August. Investment in the private sector was up 6 percent, accounting for 60.5 percent of the total.
Driven by government efforts in economic structural adjustment, the contribution of final consumption to economic growth reached 64.5 percent in the first nine months, up 2.8 percentage points from the level a year ago.
The sound economic expansion in the first three quarters has "further laid a solid foundation for achieving the annual development target," Xing said.
But given the still complicated and changing international environment,and that the Chinese economy is still going through a period of structural shifts, efforts must be made to further consolidate the positive trend, he said.
Prior to the data release, major international institutions and investment banks, including the IMF and the World Bank, already raised their forecasts for China's growth this year in light of China's strong growth momentum.