(Apr 17): China’s economy rebounded through the first quarter, offering the government room for maneuver as trade negotiations with the US enter a crucial stage.
Gross domestic product rose 6.4% in the first three months from a year earlier -- matching last quarter’s pace and beating economists’ estimates. Factory output in March jumped 8.5% from a year earlier, much higher than forecast. Retail sales expanded 8.7% while investment was up 6.3% in the year to date.
The numbers are a reversal from as recently as January when key readings were pointing to a pronounced downturn. US officials had previously touted such weakness as leverage in their push for a trade agreement.