The economy of China's rustbelt province of Liaoning is showing signs of recovery, expanding 2.4 percent year on year in Q1, compared with negative growth in 2016.
Liaoning was the only local economy in China to contract last year. The province's leadership hopes now catch up with the pace of national growth this year.
Local authorities attributed the improvement partly to steel and coal prices that have returned to reasonable levels after overcapacity reductions.
In addition, emerging industries, for example, Siasun, a robot-maker based in the provincial capital of Shenyang, saw Q1 output value rising 41 percent.
"Liaoning's economy is stabilizing and improving," said Su Jianjun, deputy director of the provincial development and reform commission. "We expect even better performance later in the year."
Su also welcomed the preferential policies granted to Liaoning by the central government, including a free trade zone that opened this month.
Northeast China -- Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces -- have been struggling for growth following the decline of their traditional heavy industries.
Liaoning also experienced extraordinarily hard times due to a series of scandals.
In 2016, China's top legislature disqualified 45 National People's Congress deputies from Liaoning for vote buying and bribery during the 2013 election.
In mid-January, Liaoning admitted in its annual report at the plenary meeting of provincial lawmakers that economic statistics had been falsified from 2011 to 2014.