China’s second-quarter growth accelerated on a stimulus-fed investment boom, the government reported Thursday, sparking a rise in Asian stocks on hopes the world’s third-largest economy could help to lead a global recovery.

The economy grew by 7.9 per cent from a year earlier, up from the first quarter’s 6.1 per cent growth rate, the National Bureau of Statistics said. Analysts said full-year growth should easily reach the government’s eight per cent target.

The pickup reflected the impact of Beijing’s four trillion yuan ($654 billion) stimulus, an effort to offset a collapse in exports by pumping money into spending on public works construction.

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