BEIJING, March 14 ― China’s industrial output grew 5.3 per cent in the first two months of this year, the slowest pace of expansion in 17 years, official data showed today.
But fixed-asset investment rose 6.1 per cent, while retail sales rose 8.2 per cent, both more than expected.
Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted industrial output growth would slow to 5.5 per cent in January-February from December’s 5.7 per cent gain.
Investment growth had been expected to edge up slightly to 6.0 per cent, from 5.9 per cent in 2018.
Private-sector fixed-asset investment, which accounts for about 60 per cent of overall investment in China, rose 7.5 per cent in the same period, compared with an 8.7 per cent rise in 2018, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.
Retail sales had been expected to rise 8.1 per cent, easing marginally from December’s 8.2 per cent pace.
China combines Janaury and February activity data in an attempt to smooth distortions created by the long Lunar New Year holidays early each year, but some analysts say a clearer picture of the economy may not emerge first-quarter data is released in April.
China’s economic growth cooled to 6.6 per cent last year, the slowest in nearly three decades, and it is expected to lose more momentum in the next few months.
Beijing is rolling out more support measures to avert a sharper slowdown, but many analysts do not expect activity to convincingly bottom out until summer. ― Reuters
Source: The Malay Mail Online