China has reported robust growth for the third quarter buoyed by strong retail spending and exports.
The world’s second largest economy expanded by 6.8% compared to the same period last year – down slightly on the previous quarter’s 6.9% but still seen as strong.
It looks on track to beat the Government’s target of 6.5% for the year and 2016’s rate of 6.7%, which was a 26-year low.
Growth has been unexpectedly strong this year but experts expect to weaken as Beijing tightens controls on bank lending to cool a rise in debt.
China’s leaders are trying to steer it to slower, more sustainable growth based on consumer spending instead of exports and investments.
But they have also been stimulating credit in an effort to prevent activity from slowing too abruptly.
The figures come as China prepares to appoint President Xi Jinping to a new term as leader.
In a speech this week at the Communist party congress, he said the country’s “prospects are bright but the challenges are grim”.
Analysts think China is stimulating credit too heavily as it aims to meet growth targets and ratings agencies estimate that its overall debt burden as ballooned to three times economic output.