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Tuesday, March 14, 2017, 10:20

China Jan-Feb factory output up 6.3% y-o-y

By Agencies
China Jan-Feb factory output up 6.3% y-o-y
A skilled worker operates a welding robot at an elevator-manufacturing company in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province. (Photo / China Daily)

BEIJING - China's value-added industrial output , an important economic indicator, expanded 6.3 percent year on year in the first two months, compared with the 6-percent increase for December of 2016, official data showed Tuesday.

At the same time, China's fixed-asset investment grew 8.9 percent in the first two months this year, up from 8.1 percent in 2016, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Tuesday.

The 6.3-percent growth in industrial output rose from the 5.4-percent increase in the Jan.-Feb. period of 2016. It was also higher than the 6-percent annual gain seen in 2016, according to the NBS.

Industrial output, officially called industrial value added, is an important economic indicator. It is used to measure the activity of designated large enterprises with annual turnover of at least 20 million yuan (US$2.9 million).

On a monthly basis, industrial production expanded 0.6 percent in February, the data showed.

China has cut its economic growth target to about 6.5% this year to give policymakers more room to push through reforms

Analysts had expected fixed-asset investment growth of 8.2 percent, quickening from 8.1 percent in the whole of 2016.

Growth of private investment quickened to 6.7 percent from 3.2 percent last year, the NBS said on Tuesday, suggesting an improved appetite from private firms to invest after a sharp loss of momentum in the last few years.

READ MORE: China factory activity grows at fastest pace in 2 yrs

Private investment accounts for about 60 percent of overall investment in China.

Retail sales growth was well below expectations, however.

Retail sales rose 9.5 percent in January-February from a year earlier. Analysts had forecasted they would rise 10.5 percent, easing from December.

China Jan-Feb factory output up 6.3% y-o-y
(Source: National Bureau of Statistics)

China combines January and February activity data in a bid to smooth out seasonal distortions caused by the timing of the long Lunar New Year holidays, which began in late January this year but fell in February last year.

China is targeting growth of around 9 percent in fixed asset investment for 2017, while retail sales were expected to increase about 10 percent, the state planner said during the nation's annual parliamentary session this month.

China has cut its economic growth target to about 6.5 percent this year to give policymakers more room to push through reforms to contain financial risks. The economy grew 6.7 percent in 2016, the slowest pace in 26 years.

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