Mon Apr 16 21:00:00 CDT 2018

Consensus Actual Previous
Y/Y % Change 6.8% 6.8% 6.8%
Q/Q % Change 1.4% 1.6%

First quarter gross domestic product was up 6.8 percent from a year ago. This matched growth in the third and fourth quarters of 2017 and the consensus forecast. GDP expanded faster than the government's target of around 6.5 percent for 2018. Consumer spending was a main contributor to growth. On the quarter, GDP was up 1.4 percent down from 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017. On an annualized basis, GDP was up about 5.7 percent. Strong exports helped offset weak infrastructure investment and slumping property sales due to stricter financial regulations. However, the outlook for exports remains cloudy as trade frictions with the U.S. rise.

The GDP data continued the recent pattern of remarkable stability in Chinese economic growth data, with the annual change in GDP reported at between 6.7 percent and 7.0 percent in every quarter since the start of 2015. Recent PMI survey data have also provided more mixed indications about the strength of economic activity.

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.