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China's economy grows faster than expected

Two Chinese workers work on the roof of a building at a construction site in Beijing on July 14, 2013. The country’s third-quarter GDP is currently at a rate of 7.8 percent from a year earlier – up from 7.5 percent in the second quarter and 7.7 percent in the first quarter.

China growth figures released today show an economy that’s growing faster than expected. The country’s third-quarter GDP is currently at a rate of 7.8 percent from a year earlier – up from 7.5 percent in the second quarter and 7.7 percent in the first quarter.

Today’s positive numbers come after Chinese efforts to maintain easy credit, government stimulus measures, and a global economy that’s getting stronger.

Chinese leaders are meeting soon to look into major structural reforms. President Xi Jinping plans on taking an economy that’s dependent on big projects to an economy dependent on consumer spending.

However, such a move could lower China’s GDP growth by the end of next year, says Beijing economist Arthur Kroeber.

“If you want to do these structural reforms, you will need to have credit growth slow much more,”  Kroeber says. “If there’s easy money around and anyone can get a loan to do anything they want, then there’s no pressure in the system for structural reform.”

About the author

Rob Schmitz is Marketplace’s China correspondent in Shanghai.

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