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A Chinese flag at a construction site in Beijing's business district. Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

China's economy grew 6.4% in the first quarter of 2019 on an annual basis — the same pace the economy grew in the previous period and below the 6.8% seen in last year’s first quarter — exceeding analysts' 6.3% growth estimate, the government said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The better-than-expected GDP growth is the latest economic indicator to surprise to the upside after the economy was feared to be slowing as recently as December. It has previously been accused of providing inaccurate statistics.

The big picture: In recent months, China has pumped billions of dollars into the economy, government officials have encouraged state-run banks increase lending and the central bank has lowered interest rates.

Yes, but "analysts say it is too early to call a sustainable turnaround, and further [fiscal and monetary] policy support is likely needed," as Reuters reports.

Go deeper

U.S. ambassador to Russia will return home briefly: State Department

John Sullivan, U.S. Ambassador to Russia, during a briefing in Moscow in 2015. Photo: Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS via Getty Images

The State Department said Monday that the U.S. ambassador to Russia, John Sullivan, will now be returning to the United States this week before returning to Moscow "in the coming weeks."

Why this matters: The statement, from a State Department spokesperson, comes just hours after Axios reported that Sullivan had indicated he intended to stand his ground and stay in Russia after the Kremlin “advised” him to return home to talk with his team.

Scoop: Leaked Ukraine memo reveals scope of Russia's aggression

Russian President Vladimir Putin visits a military exposition in Sevastopol, Crimea, in Jan. 2020. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Russia has been holding last-minute military exercises near commercial shipping lanes in the Black Sea that threaten to strangle Ukraine's economy, according to an internal document from Ukraine's ministry of defense reviewed by Axios.

Why it matters: With the eyes of the world on the massive buildup of troops in eastern Ukraine, the leaked memo shows Russian forces escalating their presence on all sides of the Ukrainian border.

Elon Musk: Autopilot feature wasn't enabled in fatal Texas crash

Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted on Monday that "data logs recovered so far" show the car's Autopilot feature was not enabled — and it did not have access to "full self-driving mode" — in the deadly crash in Texas involving the company's electric vehicle.

Background: Local investigators said they believed the car was operating without anyone in the driver's seat. At the time of death, one man was in the passenger seat, while another was in the rear seat, KPRC 2 reports.