China's retail sales up 10.7 pct in April

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China is targeting growth of around 9 per cent in fixed asset investment for 2017, and expects retail sales to increase about 10 per cent.

Regarding natural gas production, China's output jumped by 15 percent on the year in April, to 12.2 billion cubic meters (430.8 billion cubic feet), according to NBS data.

However, infrastructure spending continued to grow more than 23 per cent year on year in the period from January to last month, supported by Beijing's Belt and Road initiative.

In March, China's natural gas production rose to a record 13.6 billion cubic meters (480.3 billion cubic feet), up 10.5 percent over March past year, as economic growth spurred more power use in the industrial sector.

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China's Bureau of Statistics said the softening was particularly pronounced at larger enterprises, where sales growth dropped to 9.2% from a pace of 10% in March.

The year-to-date pace of fixed investment also slowed, with the data revealing an expansion of 8.9%, down from 9.2% over the first quarter (consensus: 9.1%), although a fall in capital goods inflation was thought to have played a hand.

Industrial production rose 6.5% from a year earlier, against the 7% predicted in a Bloomberg poll of analysts, and the 7.1% by Reuters.

Monday's data showed investment in property development picked up in April, although sales growth was significantly slower, suggesting investment in the sector remained robust even as intensified government controls to rein in the market began to take effect.

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A slew of upbeat economic data pointed to latest restructuring achievements and provided fresh stabilization signs for the Chinese economy.

"China's transition to slower but structurally rebalanced growth continues", the World Bank said in a recent report, noting that economic growth will continue to moderate as capacity is cut and credit kept on a tight leash.

The country's first quarter economic growth at 6.9% was the strongest since 2015, bolstered by higher government infrastructure spending and a gravity defying property boom.

China's liquidity conditions have also been tightened in the past few weeks, driven mainly by fortified regulatory efforts at financial deleveraging since late March.

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