China economy 2016: stabilizing and progressing

Despite a sluggish global economy, China’s economy grew by 6.7 percent in 2016, still one of the highest in the world.

The growth of the gross domestic product hit the full year target of about 6.5 percent. The performance in the fourth quarter bucked the trend of decline for the first time in the past two years.

The economy was within a proper range, with improved quality and efficiency, said Ning Jizhe, the chief of the National Bureau of Statistics.

Faced with the slowdown pressure, the Chinese government adopted a set of measures in various fields to improve the economic structure and quality, such as reducing overcapacity, streamlining administrative approvals and boosting innovation to stimulate the economy.

But economists warned that the foundation for steady growth this year remains shaky, as growth of industrial production, fixed-asset investment, inflation-adjusted retail and property sales in the fourth quarter were either slower or flat compared with the previous quarter.

Gross domestic product (GDP)

China’s economy grew 6.7 percent year-on-year to 74.41 trillion yuan ($10.83 trillion) in 2016, the slowest pace of growth in 26 years, but well within the government’s target range of 6.5 to 7 percent.

The service sector accounted for 51.6 percent of GDP in 2016, up 1.4 percentage points year-on-year. The service sector ratio exceeded 50 percent for the first time in 2015.

Value added in the service sector increased 7.8 percent year-on-year to 38.4 trillion yuan, and that in the primary and secondary sectors rose 3.3 percent and 6.1 percent respectively to 6.37 trillion yuan and 29.62 trillion yuan.

Growth in the fourth quarter came in at 6.8 percent, accelerating from the 6.7 percent in the third quarter.