2017-01-19 22:55:14
China Says Economy Grew 6.7 Percent in 2016 After a Slow Start

BEIJING — The Chinese government announced on Friday morning that the country’s economy grew 6.7 percent last year, and accelerated slightly to 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter.

The strong results came after a weak start last year, when China’s currency and stock market were tumbling and many foreign investors fretted that the country’s three decades of robust economic expansion might be ending.

The Chinese government appears to have delayed an economic reckoning, but at a high cost. The central bank and state-owned banks shoveled trillions of renminbi into a surge of credit, putting aside longstanding worries about a deeply indebted corporate sector and signs of a real estate bubble.

Many concerns have been raised about the quality of Chinese economic data. Western economists have suggested that Chinese government statisticians underestimate growth in boom years and overestimate growth during busts to present a smoother overall picture of the Chinese economy. Worries about data quality increased after the governor of the northeastern Liaoning Province said this week that the province had overstated growth for several years.

But many economists say last year’s growth appears to have been real — although bringing additional debt that could burden the economy for years to come.