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Replicas of "Longevity" lanterns are seen across from Qianqing Palace, in the Forbidden City, in Beijing, China this month.

Replicas of "Longevity" lanterns are seen across from Qianqing Palace, in the Forbidden City, in Beijing, China this month. Photo: China Stringer Network / Reuters

Good morning, and welcome to our continued coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.

China has dismissed concerns that its economy is faltering, posting better-than-expected growth figures.

Despite pressure from Donald Trump's trade war, China's economy grew at an annual rate of 6.4 percent in the first three months of this year, official figures show.

This corresponds to the growth rate of the previous quarter and suggests that Beijing's stimulus program is successful in avoiding a slowdown and possible forced landing.

Economists had expected growth to slow to 6.3 percent from 6.8 percent a year ago when the trade dispute with the US – and the slowdown in global growth – hit the world's second-biggest economy.

darren
(@dlefcoe)

#China GDP + 6.4%

acceptable number given background. pic.twitter.com/fpcxOt4OCu


April 17, 2019

China's industrial heartland and its growing consumer base were more robust than economists feared.

Industrial production rose 8.5% year-on-year in March, the strongest performance in more than four years.

Retail sales also surpassed forecasts, up from 8.7% in March, from 8.2% previously.

In a new impetus, China's unemployment rate fell from 5.3% to 5.2% and real estate investment jumped from 11.6% to 11.8% over the previous year.

The news sent a wave of relief through the financial markets, given China's crucial role in the global economy.

As Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior economist of China in Capital savingplaces:


"There is no denying that the Chinese economy ended the first quarter on a stronger note.

China's economy will end soon if it has not already.

Bloomberg in next China
(@next_china)

JUST IN: China's economic growth unexpectedly remained in the first quarter, with GDP rising 6.4% in the year https://t.co/zbRDV1gYYz pic.twitter.com/1NmIZNQfgU


April 17, 2019

But there is a caveat … just how reliable are the Chinese data, given the pressure to continue to achieve government goals and the size of its economy?

Stephen McDonell
(@StephenMcDonell)

#China GDP numbers higher than analysts predicted (at 6.4%) meant that growth here could be faster than it looked. (Remember that many analysts do not trust China's GDP figures, but …) rising bank lending and infrastructure spending are two factors driving this.


April 17, 2019

Also coming today

The new UK inflation figures will show if the cost of living in Britain and Europe increased last month.

Economists predict that the UK consumer price index rose to 2% in March from 1.9% in April. That would take away the brightness of Tuesday's revenue numbers, which showed nominal wage growth at a 10-year high.

Inflation in the euro area is expected to be weaker, dropping from 1.5% to 1.4% per year.

Schedule

  • 9:30 am BST: UK inflation report for March
  • 9h30 BST: UK housing price report for February
  • 10:00 BST: Euro area inflation report for March

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