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For the first time in 7 years, China's growth ticked up in 2017

Xi Jinping.
China's President Xi Jinping. Photo: KHAM / AFP / Getty Images)

China's economy has been booming for decades but, after steady declines since 2010, the rate of year-on-year growth actually ticked back up in 2017, to 6.9% from 6.7% in 2016, per Reuters.

Why it matters: The increase beat expectations, and came as China was "also engineering a significant slowdown in credit growth, after years in which economists have warned about risks building from years of aggressive credit stimulus," per the FT, which anticipates China will have a difficult time keeping up that pace in 2018.