Beijing: China's economy grew by a better-than-expected 6.8 percent in the first quarter, official data showed Tuesday, overcoming Beijing's battle against financial risk and trade tensions with the United States.
The world's number two economy exceeded the 6.7 percent growth forecast by analysts surveyed by AFP, and equalled the fourth quarter performance.
"The national economy maintained the momentum of steady and sound development," said Xing Zhihong, a spokesman for the National Statistics Bureau.
"The economic performance continued to improve and the economy was off to a good start."
China's sustained growth shows the economy has remained resilient even as Beijing kicked its war on pollution into a high gear during the winter months by cutting production for many steel smelters, mills and factories.
Fears of a trade war with the US have also roiled markets in recent weeks, with Washington and Beijing exchanging warnings of tit-for-tat tariffs on a significant portion of their bilateral trade.
The tensions have yet to cause real harm to the economy, analysts say, but that may change in coming months when tariffs threatened by US President Donald Trump are expected to be implemented.
Along with exports, debt-fuelled investment has driven China's economy over the last decade -- but with fears growing over a possible credit crisis, officials in Beijing are stepping up their battle against debt and financial risk.
Output at China's factories and workshops expanded by 6.8 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, below the 6.9 percent forecast by Bloomberg News. Industrial production grew by six percent in March. (AFP)