HONG KONG, March 29 (Reuters) - China's economy, the world's
second largest, will likely expand 6.8 percent in the first
quarter of 2017, the official Xinhua agency quoted a government
think tank as saying on Wednesday.
The expected pace is on par with the 6.8 percent growth
logged in the fourth quarter, which was better than market
expectations due to higher government spending and record bank
The National Academy of Economic Strategy attributed the
first-quarter expansion to a strong rise in factory-gate prices,
rebounding corporate profits and increasing imports, Xinhua
"The focus of macro-economic policies should be in
supply-side structural reforms to boost potential output in the
long run," Wang Hongju, a researcher at the academy, was quoted
by Xinhua as saying.
In the first half of the year, GDP will grow by 6.7 percent.
Industrial production is likely to increase moderately in the
second quarter, while investment sees slightly slower growth,
according to the think tank.
It warned that the government should guard against risks in
the property and financial sectors by properly managing monetary
and land supply "floodgates", Xinhua said.
(Reporting by Meg Shen in Hong Kong and Lee Chyen Yee in
Singapore; editing by Andrew Roche)