China posts strong first-quarter growth, hearty consumer demand buffers trade worries for now

“January-March fixed-asset investment growth slowed to 7.5 percent, below expectations and 7.9 percent in January-February” writes Midwest Communications Inc for For graphic on trends in China’s economic indicators click BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s economy grew at a slightly faster-than-expected pace of 6.8 percent in the first quarter, buoyed by strong consumer demand, healthy exports and robust property investment.Fixed-asset investment has also faltered as Beijing urges local governments to refrain from rampant borrowing to finance glamor projects to beat economic growth targets.First-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth was also backed by robust exports, with shipments to the U.S. jumping 14.8 percent on-year.

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