China's Industrial Production Rises Most Since Mid

Wednesday, 14 Mar, 2018

Real estate investment in China rose 9.9 percent in the first two months of 2018 from the same period previous year, even as property sales softened in the face of government cooling measures, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Wednesday.

The growth was faster than the 6.3 percent growth during the same period previous year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in a statement.

The higher output comes even as authorities press on with their fight against smog by clamping down on polluting heavy industries.

"The national economy has maintained stable and sound development in the first two months of 2018", said NBS spokesman Mao Shengyong. Private investment accounts for about 60% of overall investment in China. The increase outpaced a median forecast for a 6.1% rise by economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal.

At the same time, retail sales growth accelerated to 9.7% in January to February period.

China: Output up on exports, real estate

China combines January and February activity data in a bid to smooth out seasonal distortions caused by the timing of the long Lunar New Year holidays, which began in mid-February this year but fell in January last year.

Fixed asset investment grew 7.9 percent year-on-year for the first two months, beating expectations of 7.0 percent, and reversing a trend of falling investment seen in the latter half of 2017.

China's gross domestic product grew at 6.9 percent past year, the first annual acceleration since 2010.

China plans to cut ineffective steel capacity of 30 million tonnes and coal capacity of 150 million tonnes in 2018, according to a government work report released earlier this month.

China's industrial production expanded the most since mid-2017 and retail sales grew strongly, suggesting that the economy sustained robust growth at the start of the year.