China is expected to release a “stronger-than-forecast” GDP growth figure for the third quarter on Thursday, the second day of the Communist Party’s national congress. Strong growth this year would build on the 7.2% average growth of the past four years, helping China to reach its target of doubling per capita GDP from 2010 by 2020 and giving Xi greater leeway to tackle structural problems in his next term, according to the South China Morning Post. While the numbers have not been officially released, central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan has already said that growth in the second half will be about 7%, instead of the 6.5% targeted at the start of this year. The National Bureau of Statistics will also release monthly indicators for industrial output, retail sales and fixed-asset investment on Thursday. Fears that China is headed for an economic hard landing or a full-blown financial crisis gained traction last year but have waned in 2017.
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