Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

China industrial output growth slowest in 17 years

Chinese Slowdown Deepens: Industrial Output at 17-Year Low China's 2017 GDP Data Was Not Falsified, Official Says
Jean Garcia | 17 March, 2019, 02:30

The figures from the National Bureau of Statistics come as Beijing and Washington appear to be nearing a deal to resolve their painful trade spat, and Chinese leaders convene in the capital for an annual parliamentary session.

Pressured by weak demand at home and overseas, China's industrial output rose 5.3 percent in January-February, less than expected and the slowest pace since early 2002.

China's property investment accelerated in the first two months of the year driven by strong demand in its hinterland and defying a decline in sales, government curbs in bigger markets and a broader economic slowdown.

Expects economic growth to remain steady.

The NBS does not release individual monthly investment data for January or February but combines them to account for the seasonal distortions from the week-long Lunar New Year holiday, which typically falls in either month.

Even with additional support, China's economic growth is still expected to cool to around 6.2 percent this year from 6.6 percent in 2018, according to Reuters polls.

Fixed-asset investment growth quickened to 6.1 percent in the first two months of this year.

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The industrial output expanded 5.3 percent in the first two months, down from 5.7 percent in December 2018, NBS data showed Thursday.

Data released on Thursday showed that refineries' output in China in the first two months of 2019 increased by 6.1 percent compared to past year based on a daily basis record because the emerging privately owned refineries started the operations of their processing facilities.

Beijing has tried to restart spending.

The consumer price index, a main gauge of inflation, rose 1.5 percent year-on-year in February, compared with 1.7 percent in January, the NBS said.

"The growth trend of the modern service industry is relatively good", Mao said, adding that information transmission, software and information technology industries maintained a high growth rate of 26.5 percent. Beijing has also become less anxious about cities easing existing curbs and is more concerned about the broader economic impact of the trade war with the United States.

During the January-February period, the producer price index, which measures factory-gate prices, edged up by 0.1 percent year-on-year.

The two sides have exchanged tariffs on more than $360 billion in two-way trade, and China's exports and imports plummeted much more than expected in February.

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