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Author: Tan KW   |   Latest post: Tue, 26 Mar 2019, 6:31 PM

 

China data to show investment recovery continuing in 2019

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BEIJING: China’s first batch of major official indicators this year are forecast to show that an investment recovery that began in mid-2018 is set to continue, but the economic slowdown and trade war are still undermining factory output and consumption.
 
Official releases due today will show that measures since last year to boost infrastructure constructions have probably started having an effect, with a slight strengthening seen in investment.
 
However industrial output growth is forecast to have slowed in the first two months of this year versus the December pace, while retail sales remained stable, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
 
The data will be released during the final days of the annual national legislature meeting, at which the government lowered its growth target, unveiled a record amount of tax cuts, increased support for smaller firms and also reiterated that a debt-fuelled investment boom is not on agenda.
 
There was no January data as the National Bureau of Statistics combines readings for the first two months of each year to smooth out volatility from the Lunar New Year holiday, when factories and businesses across the country shut down.
 
“Investors will have a better idea on the economy in 2019” after the release, Larry Hu, head of China economics at Macquarie Securities Ltd in Hong Kong, wrote in a note.
 
“It’s too early for policy makers to escalate stimulus at this stage.”
 
Here’s what today’s data will show, according to those surveyed:
 
> Industrial output rose 5.6% from a year earlier in the first two months, versus 5.7% in December.
 
> Retail sales expanded 8.2%, unchanged from December’s growth.
 
> Fixed-asset investment in urban areas rose 6.1% from a year earlier, higher than the 5.9% pace in the whole of 2018.
 
The jobless rate, which hovered around 5% in 2018, will also be released.
 
The nation’s economic growth is in a long-term slowdown and is forecast to expand 6.2% this year, after 6.6% growth the previous year.
 
That’s within the government’s target range of 6 to 6.5%. 
 
 
 - Bloomberg
 
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