BEIJING (Reuters) - China's economy has been generally stable at the start of 2017, continuing its "steadying and good" momentum from the second half of 2016, China's head of economic planning said on Thursday.

Xu Shaoshi, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, said in a statement on the commission's website that China's economy still faces a "complex and severe" environment internally and externally.

He said that the government would promote stable and healthy development of the property market - a major contributor to China's economic growth.

(Reporting by Kevin Yao; Editing by Eric Meijer)