China's economy continued its firm growth with gross domestic product expanding 6.9 percent year on year to 59.3288 trillion yuan (8.9614 trillion U.S. dollars) in the first three quarters, official data showed Thursday.[Special Coverage]
Growth held steady from a 6.9 percent increase in the first half, and is well above the government target of 6.5 percent for the year.
STEADY MEDIUM-HIGH GROWTH
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 economic expansion 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.
The continued steady growth leaves room for the world's second largest economy to restructure and upgrade its economy, as Chinese leadership has called for putting quality first in economic development.
China's economy has been transitioning "from a phase of rapid growth to a stage of high-quality development," Xi Jinping said in a report to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in Beijing Wednesday.
In Jan-Sept, 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.
The sound economic expansion in the first three quarters has "further laid a solid foundation for achieving the annual development target," Xing said.
In Xi's report Wednesday, he said China was going through a pivotal stage in its growth model, improving economic structure, and aiding new growth drivers.
Such transformation is well underway.