China will report its GDP figures for the third quarter today.
The data is expected to show 6.8% economic growth this quarter, which is down slightly from the 6.9% of the previous period. The ease in growth is mostly due to a cooling in property and infrastructure investment. Despite the slight decrease in economic growth, China remains well on track to meet its annual target of 6.5%.
The data release comes at an important time for Beijing, with the National Congress having kicked off yesterday. In a speech to the Party Congress, President Xi Jinping noted the need for economic reform in China. In particular, China needs to deleverage its debt–corporate debt was 166.3% of GDP in 2016.
China’s impressive GDP figures and Xi’s inevitable re-election have raised hopes that the president will implement structural reforms of its economy. Expect reforms to be delayed, however, as Beijing is wholly committed to doubling its 2010 GDP by 2020.
Delve deeper: Structurally unsound? China’s slowing economy
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Alex is a senior analyst in the Current Developments team with a primary focus on the Americas. He also serves as an editor on The Daily Brief.