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China’s Economy Gets Boost From Property, Construction Sectors

  • Real estate sector shakes off new curbs to outpace GDP growth
  • Financial services growth slows as markets remain sluggish

China’s real estate sector grew faster than the overall economy in the second quarter as new home purchase restrictions in the biggest cities failed to deter buyers.

Economic output by real-estate brokers surged 8.8 percent from a year earlier in the April-to-June period, while construction activities jumped 7.3 percent, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed Saturday. The nation’s gross domestic product grew 6.7 percent. Other industries such as technology, health and education increased 9 percent.

A housing recovery fueled by cheap credit has supported growth this year even as headwinds loom for developers with bloated inventories. Property sales jumped 42.1 percent in the first half, slowing from 54.1 percent in the first quarter after cities like Shanghai and Shenzhen tightened criteria for some homebuyers. The world’s second-largest economy is continuing its transformation toward growth led by services, which are becoming a major pillar of the economy.

Services accounted for more than half of output last year for the first time, while GDP data released Friday showed consumption made up more than 70 percent of the expansion. Services grew 7.5 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, surpassing the 6.3 percent pace for manufacturing and 3.1 percent for agriculture.

The financial sector expanded 5.3 percent in the second quarter amid a sluggish stock market, slowing from the 8.1 percent increase in the preceding three months. Lodging and catering services rose 6.8 percent.

— With assistance by Xiaoqing Pi

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