Chinese shoppers walk past a H&M clothing store at a popular, international fashion gallery in Beijing, China, on July 5. The national statistics bureau reported Thursday that the economy grew 7.9% in the second quarter of the year, boosted by retail sales. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo
July 15 (UPI) -- China's economy grew nearly 8% during the second quarter of the year, according to government statistics, buoyed by retail sales and industrial production.
The National Bureau of Statistics of China on Thursday reported a second-quarter growth of 7.9% compared to the same period a year ago, representing an on-quarter growth of 1.3%.
The on-year growth rate is much lower than the record 18.3% the Asian nation posted in the first quarter, which, however, only represented an on-quarter jump of 0.6%.
Though the second quarter's on-quarter growth was higher than that experienced during the first three months of the year it is still slower than the 2.6% Beijing posted in the fourth quarter of last year, raising concerns that the economy may be slowing.
Industrial production, the bureau said, grew on-year during April through June 8.9% while retail sales climbed 23%.
"China's economy sustained a steady recovery with the production and demand picking up, employment and prices remaining stable, new driving forces thriving fast, quality and efficiency enhancing, market expectation improving and major macro indicators staying within reasonable range," the statistics bureau said. "The national economy witnessed the steady and sound growth momentum consolidated."
The International Monetary Fund projects China's gross domestic product to increase 8.4% this year, up from the 2.3% it experienced last year.
The statistics bureau warned, however, that China needs to continue to be aware of the pandemic, which began in its central city of Wuhan before spreading the world over, as the virus is mutating and "external instabilities and uncertainties abound."
"At home, the economic recovery is unbalanced and more efforts are needed to consolidate the foundation for the steady recovery of the development," it said.
Chaoping Zhu, a global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, said in a note reported by CNBC that while China's economy looks on track to hit its 6% annual growth expectation, concerns persist at home.
"Downside and structural risks in domestic demand are concerning," he said.