China has released figures of its economic growth for the second quarter showing the country's economy has grown at a steady seven percent, its weakest performance since the global crisis but slightly better than expected.

The figure released on Wednesday was slightly above forecasts and came as the ruling Communist Party is struggling to reverse a stock market plunge that threatens to disrupt its economic reform plans.

The world's second-largest economy has seen sharp downturn in its economic growth raising fears of job losses. Since November, Beijing has cut interest rates four times and pumped money into the economy through spending on construction.

"There are good reasons to think that the latest figures are mirroring a genuine stabilisation of conditions on the ground," said Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics in a report.

Retail sales growth accelerated in June to 10.6 percent, up 0.5 percentage points from May's rate. Factory output rose 6.8 percent, an improvement of just under 1 percentage point from the previous month.

The GDP data come dramatic fall on the Chinese Stock markets since mid June, dropping about 30 percent. More than $3.2 trillion have been lost in just three weeks.

Downward pressure

A government spokesman cautioned that the country still faces "increased downward pressure," due in part to weak demand for Chinese exports.

"The foundation for the stabilisation of China's economy needs to be consolidated," said a spokesman for the National Bureau of Statistics, Sheng Laiyun, at a news conference.

The latest figures keep China on track to meet the Communist Party's official growth target of 7 percent for this year. The International Monetary Fund and private sector forecasters expect that to decline further in coming years.

Much of the slowdown from China's double-digit growth in the previous decade was self-imposed as communist leaders tightened controls to cool inflation, surging housing costs and an investment boom.

The ruling party has promised to give entrepreneurs a bigger role in the state-dominated economy. But they have yet to take significant steps to reduce the monopolies and other privileges of government companies.

Source: Agencies