Published: Sun, March 17, 2019
Finance | By Loren Pratt

China industrial output growth at 17-year low, investment up:The Asahi Shimbun

China industrial output growth at 17-year low, investment up:The Asahi Shimbun

Fixed-asset investment growth was 6.1 percent year-on-year in the combined January to February period, compared with 5.9 percent for the whole of 2018, the NBS said on Thursday.

In January-February, China produced some 73.89 million mt of coke, up 7.6% from the same periodlast year.

Growth in China's industrial output fell to a 17-year low in the first two months of the year and the jobless rate rose, pointing to further weakness in the world's second-biggest economy that is likely to trigger more support measures from Beijing, Trend reports referring to Reuters.

Housing transactions slowed as property sales by floor area fell 3.6 percent year-on-year in the first two months of 2019, easing from the 0.9 percent gain in December. Most analysts believe activity may not convincingly stabilize until the middle of the year. Last year economic growth fell to 6.6%, the lowest value in 28 years.

In January and February auto sales continued to fall and manufacturing activity sunk.

Suspicions about falsification in China's gross domestic product (GDP) data spread after the country in January revised its GDP growth for 2017 to 6.8%, slightly down from the previously published 6.9%, based on a final verification.

Credit conditions have been on the looser side in recent months as China has cut the amount of cash banks keep as reserves five times since a year ago to boost lending to companies.

But fixed-asset investment rose 6.1 percent, while retail sales rose 8.2 percent, both more than expected.

"February's decrease in CPI growth was mainly due to the disturbance from the Spring Festival holiday, and we expect the figure to recover to about 1.8 percent in March", said Wang Qing, a researcher at Beijing-based Golden Credit Rating International. Retail sales rose 9 percent from one year earlier to 38.1 trillion yuan (about 5.7 trillion USA dollars) in 2018.

President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he was in no rush to complete a trade pact with China and insisted that any deal include protection for intellectual property, a major sticking point between the two sides during months of negotiations.

Thursday's data showed sales of appliances and furniture softened considerably early in the year, possibly linked to worries about the cooling property market and a 3.6 percent drop in home sales. The catering industry reported a 9.7-percent increase in revenue.

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