For the quarter, China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said the economy grew by 1.7% in seasonally adjusted terms, in line with expectations but higher than the 1.3% increase reported in the March quarter.
China's nationwide survey-based jobless rate was below 5 percent in June, with 7.35 million new urban jobs created in the first half of the year.
Chinese authorities release a raft of economic data today, including GDP growth, industrial output and retail sales.
Power output increased 6.3 percent year on year to 2.96 trillion kilowatt-hours in the first half of 2017, the NBS said.
President Xi Jinping called for tougher regulations to contain financial risks during a weekend National Financial Work Conference, which sets the tone for reforms.
Zhu raised his 2017 full-year growth estimate to 6.8 percent from 6.7 percent after the report, as did economists at Nomura Holdings Inc.
In the first six months, however, growth in retail sales of consumer goods expanded to 10.4 percent from the same period previous year, or compared with 10 percent in the first quarter of 2017. As China goes, so go emerging markets. The retreat of USA long-term interest rates since early 2017 and the Fed's commitment to a gradual pace of interest rate hikes are maintaining supportive monetary conditions for emerging market growth.
However, he did not expect that strength to last due to the recent crackdown on financial risks - which had led to slower credit growth.
Despite efforts to slow down the housing market, property investment grew by 8.5% in the first half, which is up from the same period in 2016. That fast expansion backed by price pressure would help boost corporate profits and government revenue, and help service or cut their debts. However, for China to upgrade its monetary and financial systems, there are some gaps the NFWC has left out.
Mainland markets traded in negative territory for the first half of the day, with the Shanghai Composite down nearly 2.5 percent at one point and the Shenzhen Composite down more than 3 percent.