China's retail sales up 8.2 pct in Jan-Feb

China industrial output growth falls to 17-year low but investment picks

China industrial output growth falls to 17-year low but investment picks

Despite the uncertain external environment and the downward pressure on the economy, the economic operations in the first two months were generally stable with investment growth accelerating, spokesperson for China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Mao Shengyong said.

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.

It is expected that the domestic oil production on China's three national oil companies will be lifter because of higher spending on exploration and production this year.

But the rate of growth remains stuck around 15-year lows, highlighting concerns that consumers are growing less confident as the economy slows.

New household loans, mainly mortgages, totalled 919.2 billion yuan (£103.22 billion) in February, accounting for 22.36 percent of total new loans last month, central bank data showed last week.

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.

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Retail sales were also marginally better than expected, with the headline figure rising 8.2 percent in January-February from a year earlier, in line with December.

The real estate market has shown signs of fatigue in recent months in the face of persistent government curbs on speculative investment, as Beijing is seeking to reduce debt risks in the financial system.

In particular, Capital Economics and others noted that infrastructure investment has not improved as much as hoped after the government began fast-tracking road and rail projects past year, raising the risk of a milder-than-expected bounce in construction when work resumes in warmer weather.

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. A year ago investment in infrastructure crumbled as China hit the brakes on major projects such as subway lines and motorways to keep a lid on debt.

Beijing has tried to restart spending.

US President Donald Trump said yesterday he sees a "very good chance" of reaching a trade deal with China but is in "no rush" to reach an agreement. Land transaction fees in 40 major Chinese cities fell 20.9 percent in January-February period from the same time a year earlier, according to the state-run Securities Times. China, however, is not alone in facing trade woes.

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