Chinese economic growth has beaten expectations, despite slowing slightly from the previous period.
The world’s second largest economy grew 7.7 per cent during the December quarter from a year earlier, down slightly on the September quarter’s 7.8 per cent result.
However, the most recent figures were a touch above average economist forecasts of 7.6 per cent growth, and also a little above the Chinese government’s target of 7.5 per cent.
That provided a small boost for the Australian dollar, which has struggled the morning, falling to a fresh three-and-a-half-year low.
The local currency bounced from a morning low of 87.66 US cents back to 88 US cents after the Chinese data were released at 1:00pm (AEDT).
Other data released also broadly matched expectations, with 9.7 per cent growth in industrial production, a 13.6 per cent rise in retail sales compared to a year earlier, and a 19.6 per cent increase in fixed asset investment.
What some analysts see as an unofficial, but perhaps more accurate, measure of Chinese industrial growth is power consumption, which climbed 8.3 per cent over the past year.