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China GDP growth steady at 6.7 percent during second-quarter

China’s economy grew 6.9 percent in 2015 and officials have targeted a range of 6.5-7.0 percent this year

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China’s second-quarter GDP growth remained steady at 6.7 percent, the government said Friday, slightly ahead of forecasts and suggesting stability in the world’s second-largest economy.

A key driver of global expansion, China’s economy grew 6.9 percent in 2015 – its weakest in some 25 years – and officials have targeted a range of 6.5-7.0 percent this year.

“The national economy has achieved moderate but steady and sound development,” National Bureau of Statistics spokesman Sheng Laiyun said, adding he was “confident” that the annual growth target could be achieved.

The result matched the first quarter’s growth rate and slightly beat median economist expectations of 6.6 percent in an AFP survey.

In the face of a slowdown Beijing has attempted tough structural reforms to wean the country off cheap exports and big-ticket government spending in favor of domestic consumption.

Fixed asset investment, an important gauge of infrastructure spending, rose nine percent in the first half of the year, amid a record credit binge in the first quarter aimed at stimulating China’s slowing economy.

Factory production and consumer spending grew slightly, and industrial output rose over six percent on year in June, a slight increase on the previous month, while retail sales rose nearly 11 percent.