China’s growth remained stable in the third quarter of 2016, with GDP growing at 6.7%, the same level as Q2.

This level of growth is in line with most forecasts and leaves China on track to meet its annual growth targets.

“All told, the Q3 GDP update is a positive one for the overall growth narrative. Despite challenging conditions, the economy continues to show healthy momentum, principally supported by the consumer and the burgeoning services sector,” says Elliot Clarke, senior economist at Westpac.

The most eye-catching figure was the growth of the services sector, which expanded by 7.8%. Compare this with a 2.7% expansion in the natural resources sector, which had been growing, spurred by fluctuations in commodity prices, by 13.3% at the start of the year.

Manufacturing remained steady at 6.1%, but with weak demand among China’s main trading partners, as well as a subdued construction sector, output in this area is likely to remain modest.

Some concern may be reserved for the trade data, with net exports (exports less imports) shrinking by 0.5%, although this was a slight improvement on the previous quarter. Again, weak consumer markets as well as an ongoing malaise in the global economy share the blame for this.

As is commonplace with the release of official Chinese data, this one raised some eyebrows, namely from Julian Evans-Pritchard, whose scepticism towards the veracity of China’s statisticians is well-established.

“As always, the GDP figures will be met with some scepticism. For our part we do think that China’s economy is expanding slower than the official figures suggest,” the Capital Economics wonk writes in a note.

The firm has devised its own gauge – the China Activity Proxy – which points to growth of around 5%. The official figures, Evans-Pritchard says, fail to account for the slump of 2015.