China industrial output growth at 17-year low, investment up:The Asahi Shimbun

China industrial output growth at 17-year low, investment up:The Asahi Shimbun

China industrial output growth at 17-year low, investment up:The Asahi Shimbun

The National Bureau of Statistics, which released the figures on Thursday, only provides combined output data for January and February to smooth the impact of the timing of the Lunar New Year holiday, which fell in early February this year.

In January-February, China produced some 73.89 million mt of coke, up 7.6% from the same periodlast year.

BEIJING-Growth in China's industrial output fell to a 17-year low in the first two months of the year, pointing to further weakness in the world's second-biggest economy.

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

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"Looking into the future we expect more cities will take measures to stabilise their own markets, but we don't expect Beijing to lift the curbs across the board", said Daniel Yao, head of research at JLL China, a property services and investment management company.

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.

In January and February auto sales continued to fall and manufacturing activity sunk. 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. Factory output growth had been expected to slow to 5.5 percent from December's 5.7 percent.

Much of the gain appeared due to a bounce in property investment, which quickened to a five-year high of 11.6 percent, though home sales fell.

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Credit conditions have been on the looser side in recent months as China has cut the amount of cash banks keep as reserves five times since past year to boost lending to companies.

China's fixed asset investment (or FAI) rose by 6.1%, which was in line with economists' expectations.

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China's state planner announced measures in January to boost consumption of goods ranging from eco-friendly appliances to big-ticket items such as cars, but the size and scope of the subsidy scheme is still unclear. Most of the 70 cities surveyed by the NBS still reported monthly price increases for new homes, though the number was down to 57 from 58 in January.

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