China's economy grew 7.4% year on year in the first half of 2014, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced in Beijing Wednesday.
Growth in the second quarter stood at 7.5%, picking up from the 7.4% expansion in the first quarter.
"The Chinese economy showed good momentum of stable and moderate growth in the first half," said Sheng Laiyun, NBS spokesman, at a press conference reported by Xinhua, the official news agency.
Sheng highlighted a pickup in economic growth in the second quarter, encouraging job data and positive developments in structural adjustment.
The employment situation was stable with more than 7m new jobs created in the first six months, he said.
Sheng said economic structure continued to be optimized as growth of the tertiary sector outperformed the primary and secondary industries during this period.
The added value of the tertiary industry accounted for 46.6% of GDP, 1.3 percentage points higher than the same period last year, NBS figures showed.
Meanwhile, the NBS said domestic demand is playing a bigger role in driving growth, with consumption contributing to 52.4% of GDP in the first half, 0.2 percentage points higher than the same period last year, Sheng said.
This was boosted by a rise in income, said the spokesman. The income gap between urban and rural households was further narrowed, with real growth of per capita cash income of rural households being 2.7 percentage points faster than the per capita disposable income of urban households during the six-month period.
"However, we should keep in mind that the domestic and international economic environment is still complicated and the national economy still faces many challenges," he said.
China will continue to deepen reform, promote innovation, adjust economic structure and transform development patterns to consolidate the momentum, Sheng said.
Zhang Fan, of CIMB, the Malaysian bank, said that in the second half of the year, the government is likely to continue its “targeted easing” measures to sustain growth.
"Selective cuts in the reserve requirement ratio for banks and the central bank’s relending facilities will likely be adopted to pump liquidity into the economy. The growth rate in the year’s second half will likely fall between 7.5% and 7.6%. For now, the supporting measures for the housing market will be limited to removal of housing purchase restrictions. If the situations further deteriorates, Beijing may take more measures to boost demand in the property market."
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