Published: Sun, March 17, 2019
Economy | By

China's property investment rises 11.6% y-o-y in Jan-Feb

China's property investment rises 11.6% y-o-y in Jan-Feb

Average daily steel output over the two months reached 2.54 million tonnes, up from 2.46 million tonnes in December and 2.32 million tonnes in the same months past year, according to Reuters calculations based on official data.

Retail sales had been expected to rise 8.1 percent, easing marginally from December's 8.2 percent pace.

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.

Growth in the world's second-biggest economy slumped to near three-decade lows last year hit by the tariff row with the United States and Beijing's multi-year crackdown on debt.

China's own official factory survey, which is seasonally adjusted, showed manufacturing output contracted in February for the first time since January 2009.

China's manufacturers are facing weaker sales at home and overseas, with exports hit by USA tariffs on Chinese goods and cooling global demand. They raised 2.45 trillion yuan ($365.38 billion) in the first two months of the year, up 2.1 percent from the same period last year, slower than the 6.4 percent rise in the full year of 2018, the NBS said.


Falling property sales in Jan-Feb due to Lunar New Year factors. China's normally steady unemployment rate rose to 5.3 percent in February, from 4.9 percent in December, with the NBS saying it had expected worse numbers.

Private sector fixed-asset investment also lost a step, rising 7.5 percent versus an increase of 8.7 percent in 2018.

"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.

Industry data this week showed automobile sales in China fell for the eighth consecutive month in February.

China is trying to engineer a construction boom to rekindle demand and kickstart the economy, even as it steps up support measures to keep cash-starved smaller companies afloat, ranging from tax cuts to financial incentives for firms which do not cut staff. Infrastructure spending ticked up 4.3% in January and February, from 3.8% the same time previous year. This year's GDP growth target was set between 6 and 6.5 percent, according to the Government Work Report.

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