China 's economy grew at an annual rate of 7.9% between April and June, up from 6.1% in the first quarter of the year, the latest official figures have shown. However, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), which announced the latest data, warned that economic recovery was not yet assured. Economists had forecast a second-quarter growth rate of 7.5%. The government has claimed it would achieve 8% growth over the year, well ahead of much of the world.

Numerous challenges

China 's growth figures, which peaked at 10.6% in the second quarter of 2008, are widely watched for indications of recovery in world trade. But officials said the numbers could not obscure continuing problems. "The difficulties and challenges in the current economic development are still numerous," said NBS spokesman Li Xiaochao at a news conference. "The basis of the rebound of the people's economy is not stable," he said. The base for recovery is still weak. Growth momentum is unstable. The recovery pattern is unbalanced and thus there are still uncertain and volatile factors in the recovery process," the NBS said in a statement distributed ahead of a news conference. It said that urban per capita incomes were up 11.2% from a year earlier, and that real rural per capita incomes were up 8.1%. Meanwhile, China 's consumer price index fell 1.7% in June compared with the same month a year earlier, the fifth consecutive monthly decline. Exports in June were down 21.4% compared with a year earlier, the government said last week.

Public private progress

But the private sector is doing its part too, he explained. China 's state controlled banks have lent huge amounts of money to the country's state owned and private sector businesses. Companies have used the cash to try to avoid shedding jobs and to invest in new equipment, he added. The many new government infrastructure projects have provided employment for many of the migrant workers who have been laid off - mainly in the export sector, our correspondent said. Analysts broadly welcomed China 's latest economic data. It's very encouraging: the 8% growth target [for the year] is in sight," said Daniel Soh, an economist at Forecast in Singapore . It's by now clear that the fiscal stimulus package has offset the contraction in export activity. Industrial output - a measure of activity in the nation's factories and workshops - grew by more than 10% year on year in June. Urban fixed asset investment - a measure of government spending on infrastructure - rose by more than 35% over the same period. China 's economic growth in the first quarter of 6.1%, had been the weakest growth since quarterly records began in 1992. The country experienced double-digit growth from 2003 to 2007, and recorded 9% growth in 2008.

source : bbc news