January 19, 2017 08:00 CST

Consensus Actual Previous
Y/Y % Change 6.7% 6.8% 6.7%
Q/Q % Change 1.7% 1.8%

Fourth quarter real gross domestic product rose 6.8 percent when compared with the same quarter a year earlier. Analysts had expected an increase of 6.7 percent. For the full year 2016, GDP was up 6.7 percent slightly lower than 2015's growth of 6.9 percent. The economy was buoyed by robust monetary and fiscal stimulus in 2016.

Strong bank lending and fiscal spending kept property and infrastructure humming last year, despite a sharp slowdown in investment by private businesses. But President Xi warned in his Davos speech that China's economy "faces downward pressure and many difficulties", citing financial risks and excess industrial capacity as key challenges.

The economy is facing increasing uncertainties in 2017, with a housing frenzy showing signs of cooling and the impact of previous stimulus measures expected to fade. Exports which have been sluggish also could come under fresh pressure if U.S. President-elect Donald Trump takes a more protectionist stance on trade, while its yuan currency is widely expected to depreciate further, weighing on its foreign exchange reserves.

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.