China’s economic growth beat expectations in Q2 2015, but it was still the weakest showing since the global financial crisis.
The world’s second largest economy grew 7% from a year ago – matching growth in Q1 2015, which was the lowest since 2009 when it fell to 6.6%.
A weaker property market and factory production have hampered growth.
Meanwhile, Beijing has rolled out a series of stimulus measures amid the slowdown.
The central bank cut interest rates for the fourth time since November last month to boost economic activity.
Growth was expected to dip below the 7% mark and come in at 6.9% for Q2 2015.
The mainland’s benchmark index, the Shanghai Composite, had lost almost a third of its value in the three weeks from mid-June.
The positive growth figures failed to excite investors with the index down 2.4% to 3,830.49 points, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was lower by 0.5% to 24,995.95.
On a quarterly basis, China’s economy expanded 1.7% from April to June, compared to the 1.4% revised figure in Q1 2015.
The government has also had to respond to suggestions that the better data may have been “inflated”.
The National Bureau of Statistics said on July 15 that the data reflecting the positive changes in the economy was “hard won”, and accurate.
Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economics said that while actual growth is “almost certainly” a percentage point or two slower than the official figures show, it does point to signs of a stabilizing economy.
“More broadly, with the drag from the structural slowdown in property and heavy industry now easing, we think that growth is on track to slow only gradually over the course of the next few years,” he said in a note.
Industrial production and retail sales in June were all above forecasts, while fixed-asset investment, a major driver of the economy, also beat expectations in the period.