BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s economy grew 7.5 percent between April and June from a year earlier, slightly above expectations and quickening from the 7.4 percent pace in the first quarter, reinforcing hopes that a recovery is under way after a flurry of government stimulus measures.
Other data released alongside the gross domestic product (GDP) report on Wednesday showed factory output rose 9.2 percent in June from a year ago, beating expectations for a 9.0 percent increase.
Fixed asset investment, a mainstay driver of the Chinese economy, climbed 17.3 percent in the first six months compared with a year earlier, above forecasts for a 17.2 percent rise.
Retail sales rose 12.4 percent in June from a year ago, in line with analysts’ predictions.
China’s economy, the world’s second-largest, got off to a weak start this year as unsteady foreign and domestic demand dragged on exports, investment and industrial output, prompting the government to announce a slew of stimulus measures.
Many economists believe more policy support may be needed in coming months to sustain any recovery, particularly if the already cooling property market begins to deteriorate more sharply.
Premier Li Keqiang said last month that targeted growth of 7.5 percent for 2014 is a minimum level, reinforcing expectations that Beijing is ready to roll out more stimulus if needed.
Reporting by Shao Xiaoyi and Koh Gui Qing; Editing by Kim Coghill