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China Premier Li says 2017 GDP growth expected around 6.9 percent

Reuters  |  BEIJING 

(Reuters) - China's said the world's second-biggest is expected to have grown around 6.9 percent last year, the official agency reported, accelerating from a 26-year low in 2016.

In the past year, China's has maintained a steady and favourable trend, with the overall situation better than expected, Li said at the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation Forum on Wednesday.

Analysts expect the to have grown around 6.8 percent last year, beating the government's target of about 6.5 percent, thanks to a construction boom and robust global demand for Chinese exports. expanded 6.7 percent in 2016.

The main reason why performed well last year was because it refrained from "flooding" the with stimulus while pushing ahead with supply-side reforms and cultivating new sources of momentum, Li said.

Massive stimulus in the past to stop growth flagging as the global faced strong headwinds had led to massive borrowing by state-run firms and local governments.

Total debt in the second quarter of last year amounted to 255.9 percent of GDP, according to estimates.

Policymakers have been relentless in their efforts to defuse financial risks amid a mountain of debt as makes its gradual transition from a command to a market

The country's corporate leverage ratio declined at a steady pace last year, Li said, according to Xinhua.

China's foreign exchange reserves also continued to rise last year, the said.

The country's foreign exchange reserves rose to their highest in more than a year in December, blowing past economists' estimates, as tight regulations and a strong yuan continued to discourage capital outflows.

The official 2017 data is due to be published on Jan. 18.

Policy sources told previously that will still keep its growth target at around 6.5 percent in 2018 as seeks to balance efforts to reduce debt risks while keeping the on a steady footing.

(Reporting by Ryan Woo; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, January 11 2018. 09:36 IST
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