Chinese Slowdown Deepens: Industrial Output at 17-Year Low

17 March, 2019, 02:33 | Author: Eric Barnett
  • China Gas Holdings

China's fixed-asset investment grew 6.1 percent year-on-year in the first two months of 2019, 0.2 percentage points higher than that recorded in 2018, NBS data showed.

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

China's retail sales of consumer goods held steady in the first two months of the year, with strong growth in online sales and the catering sector, official data showed Thursday.

But investment picked up speed as the government fast-tracked more road and rail projects, offering some relief for policymakers as they work to avert a sharper slowdown, data showed on Thursday. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang last week laid out a lower growth target of 6.0-6.5 percent this year, from 6.6 percent growth in 2018, which was already the slowest pace for nearly three decades.

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 domestic demand to remain steady. 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.

China's daily steel output rose in January and February, as mills in the world's top producer ramped up production amid firm steel margins and easier environmental restrictions.

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 a year ago to boost lending to companies.

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. Economists are expecting further easing measures by the Chinese government to spur business activity. China's exports to all of its major markets fell across the board last month. The unemployment rise comes as the growth of industrial production fell to its lowest rate in a decade of 5.3% in January, and down from 5.7% growth in December.

But sales of appliances and furniture softened considerably early in the year, possibly linked to a 3.6 percent drop in home sales. Infrastructure spending ticked up 4.3% in January and February, from 3.8% the same time past year. The catering industry reported a 9.7-percent increase in revenue.

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