China's second-quarter GDP grows 3.2% year-on-year, beats expectations

Cranes and containers are seen at the Yantian port in Shenzhen, following the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's economy grew 3.2% in the second-quarter from a year earlier, data showed on Thursday, recovering from a record contraction as lockdown measures ended and policymakers stepped up stimulus to combat the shock from the coronavirus crisis.

The growth was faster than the 2.5% forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll, and followed a steep 6.8% slump in the first quarter, the first such contraction since at least 1992 when quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) records began.

The economy fell 1.6% in the first six months from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

The world's second-largest economy has been recovering slowly in the past two months, though the bounce from the pandemic-induced downturn has been uneven. The government has rolled out a raft of measures, including more fiscal spending, tax relief and cuts in lending rates and banks' reserve requirements to revive the coronavirus-ravaged economy and support employment.

On a quarter-on-quarter basis, GDP rose 11.5% in April-June, the bureau said, compared with expectations for a 9.6% rise and a 9.8% decline in the previous quarter.

(Reporting by Gabriel Crossley and Kevin Yao; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)