Thu Apr 14 21:00:00 CDT 2016

Consensus Actual Previous
Y/Y % Change 6.7% 6.7% 6.8%

First quarter gross domestic product was up 6.7 percent from a year ago and the slowest since the depths of the financial crisis in the first quarter of 2009. GDP was down from 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter last year. Expectations were for growth of 6.7 percent. In March, China's parliament approved a full-year growth target of 6.5 percent to 7 percent, down from last year's target of around 7 percent.

The data add to a picture of a Chinese economy that is broadly stabilizing after a sharp slowdown in the second half of last year. Trade data released on Wednesday showed imports and exports beating expectations in March. The International Monetary Fund recently revised its full-year growth forecast up to 6.5 percent from 6.3 percent.

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.