China's gross domestic product (GDP) for the second quarter continued its pace in the first quarter as industrial output and strong consumption lifted the country's factories.
Some 7.35 million new jobs were created in China's urban regions from January to June, up 180,000 from the same period past year, said Xing Zhihong, spokesperson for the National Bureau of Statistics, at a press conference.
The annual growth was forecast to slow to 6.8%.
GDP for the second quarter was up 6.9% year-on-year with growth in the second quarter coming in at 1.7%.
China growth data topped expectations Monday.
He said: "Boosted by both fiscal and monetary stimulus in 2016, China remains on track to meet the 6.5% to 7.0% economic growth target laid down by the ruling Communist Party".
The service sector, already accounting for 54.1 per cent of the overall economy, expanded 7.7 percent year on year in the first half, outpacing a 3.5 percent increase in primary industries and 6.4 percent in secondary industries, according to NBS data.
Like the GDP report, separate data on industrial output, retail sales and urban fixed asset investment all topped market expectations for June.
The NBS also warned that China's economy also faces "many unstable and uncertain factors abroad"; perhaps a nod to president Trump's protectionist rhetoric, or perhaps Britain's exit from the EU.
Analysts had expected quarterly growth would quicken to 1.7 per cent.
Analysts expect that tighter restrictions on property purchases and bank lending will continue to weigh on the economy in the months ahead.
That is mostly a outcome of its efforts to reduce debt.
Fitch Ratings on Friday maintained its A-plus rating for the country but said its growing debt could trigger "economic and financial shocks".
Indeed, real estate investment growth sped up in June after slowing in May, suggesting investment in the sector remained strong, likely due to more robust demand in smaller centers that are encouraged to reduce inventory and not subject to strict curbs seen in the bigger cities.