China's economy is stable, but fears over tariff war with the US

Growth of 6.8% in the first quarter. Private investments rose by 8.9%; state ones by 13%. The migrant labor force also grew: 1.1%. The services sector is now 55.6% of GDP. But the trade war with the US could reduce the growth by 2.5% with 14 million jobs at risk.

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The second world economy, with a volume of 12 trillion dollars, has grown by 6.8% in the first quarter of 2018, but the repercussions of the tariff war with the USA is casting fears over its future. The National Statistics Office which released the figures today underlines the stability of growth, in line with the government's forecasts.

In this quarter, compared with that of a year ago, private investments grew by 8.9%. Public investments also grew by 13%, especially for infrastructure, even if the central government restricted funding in this area.

Another sign of growth is the increase in the labor force of migrants, which grew by 1.1% (about 1.8 million). According to the Statistics Office, growth in the first quarter was sustained at 77.8% by consumption. The service sector - 56.6% of GDP - exceeded industrial production and agriculture as a percentage.

Analysts note that the data for the first quarter of 2018  is still not affected by the threat of economic war between Washington and Beijing, which grew towards the end of March. Although services are today the biggest share of national GDP, exports - hit by tariffs - still remain important. According to Zhu Baoliang, an economist at the State Information Center, China could lose up to 2.5% of economic growth and at least 14 million jobs if the trade imbalance with the US is reduced to zero.