China’s gross domestic product rose 6.9% in the second quarter, faster-than-expected, setting the country on course to comfortably meet its 2017 growth target and giving policymakers room to tackle big economic challenges ahead of key leadership changes later this year, according to Reuters. The boost to growth was in part driven by firmer exports and production, in particular steel, which could heighten trade tensions as the United States and China begin economic talks this week. Economic data from the second quarter has prompted a number of analysts to upgrade their GDP forecasts for China for 2017, although some moderation in growth is expected later this year as policymakers’ efforts to rein in property and debt risks weigh on activity. Citi raised its 2017 annual GDP projection to 6.8% on-year from 6.6% previously.
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