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China first-quarter GDP grows 6.8 percent year-on-year, slightly more than expected
China’s economy grew 6.8 percent in the first quarter of 2018, slightly faster than expected, buoyed by strong consumer demand and surprisingly robust property investment despite continued measures to tame rising home prices. 
 
Beijing is looking to keep the economic balancing act intact even as it faces rising trade tensions with its largest trading partner, the United States, that could impact billions of dollars in cross-border trade. 
 
“Consumption is really strong, there is strong wage growth in urban areas. We underestimated the power of consumption in China,” said Iris Pang, Greater China economist at ING in Hong Kong 
 
“Property investment is actually rising so I would not conclude the property segment is derailing the economy,” she added, referring to the consensus view that the sector is starting to cool under the weight of rising mortgage rates and measures to curb speculation. 
 
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected gross domestic product (GDP) to expand 6.7 percent in the January-March quarter, slowing only marginally from 6.8 percent growth in the previous two quarters. 
 

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