China's industrial output slowed to a 17-year low
13:22 - 14/03/2019
Information / Baghdad ..
China's manufacturing output fell to its lowest level in 17 years in the first two months of the year, signaling weakness in the world's second largest economy likely to trigger further support from Beijing.
However, a mixed range of important data released on Thursday also showed the growth of real estate investment, while total retail sales slowed but remained stable, suggesting that the economy is not in the midst of a more severe slowdown at the moment.
China is stepping up economic support at a time when growth appears to be declining in 2019 to its lowest level in 29 years, but support measures take time to implement. Most analysts believe the activity may not settle convincingly until mid-year.
Industrial output rose 5.3 percent in January and February, below expectations and the slowest pace since early 2022. Growth was expected to slow to 5.5 percent from December's 5.7 percent.
Growth in investment in fixed assets, a key driver of growth, has accelerated to 6.1 percent in the first two months of this year, slightly above analyst expectations and marginally higher than the 5.9 percent recorded in 2018.
Most of the gains appear to be due to a rebound in real estate investment, which accelerated to a five-year high of 11.6 percent despite falling home sales.
The expected retail sales performance eased slightly, with the main sales figure up 8.2 percent in January and February compared to the same period a year ago, in line with the December pace.
But sales growth remains at its lowest level in 15 years, reinforcing fears that consumer confidence is steadily falling as the economy slows. Ending / 25