Sun Oct 18 21:00:00 CDT 2015

Consensus Actual Previous
Y/Y % Change 6.8% 6.9% 7.0%

Third quarter gross domestic product increased 6.9 percent on the year in inflation adjusted terms, down slightly from 7 percent in the first two quarters of the year. It was China's slowest pace of growth since 2009 in midst of the global financial crisis as growth in services failed to make up for weakness in manufacturing and property.

Monday's figure suggests that China may struggle to meet the full-year growth target of "around 7 percent" that Premier Li Keqiang announced in March. The National Bureau of Statistics said last month that growth as low as 6.5 per cent would be within the target range.

Economists agree that a long term slowdown in Chinese growth is inevitable due to structural factors like a shrinking labour force and the end of "catch-up growth" as China completes the transition from a rural to industrial economy. But a cyclical slowdown in manufacturing, oversupply of housing and weak foreign demand for Chinese exports is adding to the pain. The government has announced plans to boost spending on infrastructure projects to make up for the fall in property and manufacturing-linked investment.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) refers to the final products at market prices produced by all resident units in a country (or a region) during a certain period of time. GDP is the core indicator of the national accounts, and also an important indicator to measure the economic conditions and the level of development of a country or region. GDP is calculated from three approaches -- production, income and expenditure -- which reflect gross domestic product and its composition from different angles.

GDP is the all-inclusive measure of economic activity. The GDP report contains a treasure-trove of information which not only paints an image of the overall economy, but tells investors about important trends within the big picture. GDP components such as consumer spending, business and residential investment, and price (inflation) indexes illuminate the economy's undercurrents, which can translate to investment opportunities and guidance in managing a portfolio.

The data are compiled by NBS and the People's Bank of China (PBoC). Estimates for non-financial corporations, financial corporations, general government, household and the rest of the world sectors are published. The production accounts, distribution and use of income account, and capital account data are compiled by NBS. NBS also develops the financial account by rearranging financial transactions data in the flow of funds accounts compiled by PBoC. There are no breakdowns of government consumption expenditure, gross fixed capital formation, change in inventories and net exports. Household consumption expenditures are broken down into urban and rural. The income components of GDP are only published in the input-output tables. NBS uses the Chinese Industrial Classification of the National Economy.