This Sept 25, 2018 photo shows a worker at a pump truck making factory in Zhangjiakou, Hebei province. (PHOTO / IC)
BEIJING — China's industrial output expanded 5.3 percent year-on-year in the first two months of 2019, narrowing from 5.7 percent growth in December 2018, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Thursday.
Deducting the Spring Festival factor, China's industrial output expanded 6.1 percent year-on-year in the first two months, according to the NBS.
The industrial production was generally stable in the first two months with fast growth in emerging industries and new products, the NBS said
The industrial production was generally stable in the first two months with fast growth in emerging industries and new products, the NBS said in a statement.
Production in strategic emerging industries expanded by 10.1 percent, 4.8 percentage points higher than the general industrial output growth.
The output of new energy vehicles saw a surge of 53.3 percent year-on-year during the period, while solar cell production rose by 13.5 percent, NBS data showed.
READ MORE: Industrial output poised for more gains
On the other hand, the mining sector grew by a modest 0.3 percent year-on-year in the first two months, lagging behind the 5.6 percent growth achieved by the manufacturing sector.
Amid the drive to restructure and optimize industry, the country aims to reduce overcapacity in traditional sectors such as coal, iron and steel while facilitating growth in emerging areas.
Ownership analysis showed that the industrial output of state-holding enterprises was up 4.4 percent during the period, while the industrial output for private enterprises grew 8.3 percent.
On a monthly basis, China's industrial output went up 0.43 percent in February from January.
Industrial output, officially called industrial value added, is used to measure the activity of designated large enterprises with annual turnover of at least 20 million yuan (about US$3 million).
Besides the industrial output figures released by the NBS, a slew of other major economic indicators for the same period were also released.
Fixed-asset investment up 6.1%
China's fixed-asset investment (FAI) grew 6.1 percent year-on-year in the first two months, 0.2 percentage points higher than that recorded in 2018, the NBS said.
NBS spokesperson Mao Shengyong said China saw improving economic structure during the period
NBS spokesperson Mao Shengyong said domestic demand maintained steady growth in the first two months of this year, given stable FAI and consumption expansion.
The FAI growth continued the upward trend since last September, data showed.
The 6.1-percent growth was also in line with market expectations, Japanese securities brokerage Nomura said in a report.
Mao said China saw improving economic structure during the period.
Private investment posted fast growth, rising 7.5 percent year-on-year to about 2.7 trillion yuan (about US$402.3 billion), data showed.
The growth of investment in the tertiary industry and industrial technology improvement sped up or maintained a fast increase, said Mao. Investment in the tertiary industry expanded 6.5 percent in the past two months, picking up the pace from the 5.5-percent increase in 2018.
Separately, the investment in high-tech industries and industrial technology improvement jumped 8.6 percent and 19.5 percent respectively year-on-year, both faster than the overall FAI growth.
Thursday's data also showed that investment in infrastructure went up 4.3 percent year-on-year, quickening from the 3.8-percent growth in 2018.
The investment in the primary industry and secondary industry grew 3.7 percent and 5.5 percent respectively.
People shop at a mall in Shanghai, Dec 31, 2018. (PHOTO / VCG)
Retail sales up 8.2%
China's retail sales of consumer goods held steady in the same period, posting strong growth in online sales and the catering sector, data showed.
Retail sales of consumer goods held steady in January-February, posting strong growth in online sales and the catering sector
The indicator of consumption rose 8.2 percent year-on-year in the first two months of the year, flat with that in December, according to the NBS.
After deducting price factors, the indicator grew 7.1 percent in real terms, accelerating from December's 6.6-percent rise, Mao said.
Thursday's data also showed consumption in rural areas climbed 9.1 percent, outpacing a rise of 8 percent in urban regions. The catering industry reported a 9.7-percent increase in revenue.
Online retail sales maintained robust growth, up 13.6 percent in the first two months, with physical commodity sales surging 19.5 percent from one year earlier.
With a market of nearly 1.4 billion increasingly prosperous population, China strives to make consumption a major driver of its economic growth.
Consumption contributed 76.2 percent to the country's GDP growth last year. Retail sales rose 9 percent from one year earlier to 38.1 trillion yuan (about US$5.7 trillion) in 2018.
Property investment up 11.6%
During the same period, China's real estate investment increased 11.6 percent year-on-year, the NBS said.
The growth in real estate investment was faster than the 9.5-percent expansion recorded in 2018
The growth was faster than the 9.5-percent expansion recorded in 2018.
The total property investment in the first two months amounted to 1.2 trillion yuan (about US$180.3 billion), with 72.1 percent used in residential buildings, the NBS said.
In the first two months, the investment in residential buildings surged 18 percent year-on-year to 871.1 billion yuan, 4.6 percentage points faster than the pace in 2018, according to the NBS.
During the same period, China's real state developers built buildings of 6.75 billion square meters in floor area, an increase of 6.8 percent year-on-year.
Commercial housing sales measured by floor area came in at 141 million square meters in the first two months, down 3.6 percent year-on-year, with the sales in value exceeding 1.28 trillion yuan, up 2.8 percent from a year earlier.
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