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BEIJING, April 17 China's economy grew 6.9
percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, slightly
faster than expected, supported by a government infrastructure
spending spree and a frenzied housing market that is showing
signs of overheating.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected the economy to
expand 6.8 percent in the first quarter, the same pace as in the
fourth quarter of 2016.
The first-quarter growth pace was the fastest since the
third quarter of 2015.
The government is aiming for growth of around 6.5 percent in
2017, slightly lower than last year's target of 6.5-7 percent
and the actual 6.7 percent, which was the weakest pace in 26
While China's data has been largely upbeat so far this year,
many analysts widely expect the world's second-largest economy
to lose steam later in the year as the impact of earlier
stimulus measures starts to fade and as local authorities step
up their battle to rein in hot housing prices.
Gross domestic product (GDP) in January-March rose 1.3
percent quarter-on-quarter from the previous three months,
compared with growth of 1.7 percent in October-December, the
National Bureau of Statistics said on Monday.
Analysts had expected quarterly growth would ease marginally
to 1.6 percent.
(Reporting by Kevin Yao; Writing by Elias Glenn; Editing by Kim