China’s economy steadied in the third quarter, expanding by 7.8 percent compared with a year earlier, the government said Friday, indicating that the economy has pulled out of a jittery period of slowed growth thanks to revived investment, consumer spending and factory production.
Economists disagree over how robust that economic uptick is, with some arguing that a boost provided by a rise in bank credit could soon fade. But the third-quarter data are likely to give policy makers in Beijing more confidence that, for now, they can maintain adequate growth without resorting to major stimulus initiatives, several economists said.
“We’re seeing this recovery in consumer confidence,” said Stephen Green, head of Greater China research for Standard Chartered, and based in Hong Kong. “We’re seeing continued grinding out of the housing market recovery. So we’re relatively happy that we’ve got at least another couple of quarters of fairly plain sailing. Credit growth has decelerated a little bit, but not enough, we think, to slow us down now.”
The Chinese government has set an economic growth target of 7.5 percent for 2013. China’s leaders have said that the double-digit growth of the past must be abandoned so that resources and revenues can be directed toward urgently needed adjustments to the economy. A Communist Party leadership conference next month is likely to unveil broad plans for economic change....