This Aug 7, 2017 file photo shows a woman working in a textile factory in Linyi in China's eastern Shandong province. (STR / AFP)
BEIJING – China's value-added industrial output grew 6 percent year on year in August, compared with the 6.4-percent increase for July, while fixed-asset investment expanded 7.8 percent in the first eight months, official data showed on Thursday.
On a monthly basis, industrial production edged up 0.46 percent in August compared to July, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Thursday.
The industrial output of state-holding enterprises rose 7.8 percent, while share-holding enterprises declined 2.1 percent and overseas-funded enterprises increased 7.9 percent.
For the first eight months, industrial production expanded 6.7 percent, a notch below the 6.8 percent growth registered in the first seven months.
Industrial output, officially called industrial value added, is used to measure the activity of designated large enterprises with annual revenue of at least 20 million yuan (nearly US$3 million)
FIXED-ASSET INVESTMENT STABLE
Fixed-asset investment (FAI) in China remained stable during the January-August period thanks to robust investment in infrastructure.
Despite the mild retreat, the investment structure continued to improve
Liu Aihua, Spokesperson, National Bureau of Statistics, China
During the eight months, FAI grew 7.8 percent year on year to 39.42 trillion yuan (more than US$6 trillion), NBS data showed. The pace was slower than the 8.3-percent increase in the first seven months of the year and failed to meet market estimates of 8.2 percent.
"Despite the mild retreat, the investment structure continued to improve," NBS spokesperson Liu Aihua said at a press conference, citing more capital pumped into high-tech industries, infrastructure and weak economic areas.
Infrastructure investment, which accounts for more than 20 percent of total FAI, jumped 19.8 percent, driven by investment in public facility management and road transport. High-tech manufacturing saw investment up by 19.5 percent.
The NBS calculation does not include investment made by farmers. It includes projects with planned investment of more than 5 million yuan and all property development.
RETAIL SALES GROWTH SLOWS
China's retail sales of consumer goods grew 10.1 percent year on year in August, 0.3 percentage points slower than that in July.
Total retail sales of consumer goods in the first eight months rose 10.4 percent year on year to hit 23.2 trillion yuan (about US$3.5 trillion), flat with the growth in the first seven months, the NBS said.
Online sales continued to outpace overall retail sales growth, surging 34.3 percent year on year in the first eight months, up from 33.7 percent in the first seven months.
Online sale of physical goods expanded 29.2 percent year on year, up from 28.9 percent in the January-July period, accounting for 13.8 percent of total retail sales.
Retail sales in rural areas rose 11.5 percent in August, outpacing the 9.9-percent increase for urban areas.
PROPERTY INVESTMENT UP
Amid a steady growth in investment in the property sector during the first eight months of 2017, sales continued to slow due to government curbs, NBS data showed.
Real estate investment rose 7.9 percent year on year during the January-August period, unchanged from the growth in the first seven months.
Investment for residential properties went up 10.1 percent year on year, accounting for 68.3 percent of investment in the sector.
With a slew of government restrictions to prevent speculation, property sales continued to cool. In terms of floor area, property sales gained 12.7 percent, retreating 1.3 percentage points from January-July.
By the end of August, 623.5 million square meters of property remained unsold, down by 11.4 million square meters from a month earlier.
China has been stepping up efforts to rein in property speculation this year after rocketing housing prices fueled asset bubble concerns, particularly in major cities.
PRIVATE INVESTMENT SLOWS
China's private fixed-asset investment recorded a slowdown in growth in the first eight months of 2017, but investment structure has improved, NBS data showed.
In the first eight months, FAI by the private sector grew 6.4 percent year on year to 23.92 trillion yuan (about US$3.65 trillion).
The amount accounted for 60.7 percent of the total FAI, but the growth has slowed from 6.9 percent for the January-July period.
Private investment to the primary sector rose 14.6 percent in the eight-month period, followed by an increase of 8.4 percent for the service sector and 4 percent for the secondary sector.
Growth in the country's total FAI also slowed in this period, which grew 7.8 percent year on year, down from 8.3 percent for the January-July period.
Rapid investment growth was seen in fields like high-tech, infrastructure and environmental protection, while transformation and upgrading in traditional industries has continued, said NBS spokesperson Liu Aihua.