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Three provinces in the southwestern region of China maintained the leading positions in the nation's economic growth in the first half of 2017, which an analyst said was mainly driven by fixed-assets investment.

Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, Chongqing Municipality and Guizhou Province all recorded double-digit growth in the first six months, the latest data showed.

Tibet, with a growth rate of 10.8 percent year-on-year, has the highest rate nationwide. "The rapid growth in the autonomous region was driven by increased fixed-assets investment, which reflected the country's broad strategy of moving industries from eastern regions to western regions," Li Na, an expert at the research center at the China Society of Macroeconomics, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

The investment has also generated more job opportunities, which also boosted the consumer sector, Li noted. "Surging investment will create more industrial capacity that needs to be further 'digested', which may pose an impact on local GDP growth."

The expert emphasized that the investment in real estate in these areas, for example in Chongqing, accounted for a small part of the economy compared with other cities in eastern regions. This is a positive sign of economic restructuring.

The GDP growth of Northwest China's Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning provinces all missed expectations in the first half of 2017, at 6.3 percent, 6.5 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively.

The nationwide GDP growth rate reached 6.9 percent on average in the first half, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.