Chinese economy sees first annual lift in growth since 2010

Pollution levels in the city often breach World Health Organisation danger levels

Output rose 6.1 percent in November on-year.

Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted full-year investment growth of 7.1 percent, cooling from 7.2 percent in the first 11 months of the year and 8.1 percent growth in 2016.

Earlier this week, Chen Qiufa, the governor of Liaoning province in China's rust-belt northeast region, admitted that economic figures were padded out from 2011 to 2014, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

In 2017, the economy expanded at a faster pace of 6.9% after rising 6.7% in 2016, and exceeded the government's 2017 target of about 6.5%. "We project GDP growth to slow to 6.4 percent this year", he said in a commentary.

"The downward trend is clear".

Local government debt expanded again in China previous year despite Beijing's pledge to rein in a growing national debt load that has sparked fears of a financial crisis in the world's number two economy. "We expect investment to come under pressure this year but we are relatively optimistic about consumption and exports". Soon after the easing of some local curbs in northwestern and central China drew public attention, the central government reiterated vows to clamp down on property speculation.

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That rate was set as Beijing said it wanted to achieve a more sustainable level of gross domestic product (GDP) growth amid worries about a growing debt mountain, risky investments and high pollution levels - particularly from industry.

In addition, retail sales of consumer goods grew 10.2% but its was 0.2 percentage slower than last year's growth.

For the whole year of 2017, industrial production grew 6.6%, as expected.

The upbeat data underscored debate over the veracity of official figures, following a recent spate of reports about local Chinese governments reporting fake or inaccurate economic data.

Policy sources told Reuters previously that China will still keep its GDP growth target at around 6.5 percent in 2018 as Beijing seeks to balance efforts to reduce debt risks while keeping the economy on a steady footing.

The weighted average lending rate for non-financial firms, a key indicator of corporate funding costs in China, rose by 49 basis points in the first nine months of 2017 to 5.76 percent, according to central bank data.

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