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Monday, November 14, 2016, 14:23

China Jan-Oct investment growth quickens

By Agencies
China Jan-Oct investment growth quickens
A Chinese worker loads steel tubes onto a truck at a logistics center in Lianyungang in east China's Jiangsu province on Nov 8, 2016. (STR / AFP)

China's fixed-asset investment maintained steady growth in the first ten months of 2016, with investment by the private sector showing signs of improvement , data released Monday showed.

Fixed asset investment grew 8.3 percent year on year to 48.44 trillion yuan (US$7.1 trillion) during the January-October period, up from the 8.2-percent gain seen in the first three quarters, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said.

Fixed-asset investment includes capital spent on infrastructure, property, machinery and other physical assets.

China's industrial output expanded 6% in the first 10 months of 2016 & retail sales of consumer goods grew 10.3% y-on-y

Investment by the state sector surged 20.5 percent during the period, while private-sector investment increased 2.9 percent, 0.4 percentage points higher than that in the first nine months, as the government intensified efforts to boost growth in the sector.

The torpid growth of private investment this year has concerned policymakers as the private sector regularly contributes more than 60 percent of China's GDP growth and provides over 80 percent of jobs.

Private investment accounted for 61.5 percent of all investment in the first ten months, the NBS data showed.

Growth in property development investment continued to grow, to 6.6 percent in the first ten months of 2016, higher than the 5.8 percent posted in the first nine months.

In terms of floor area, property sales went up 26.8 percent year on year, and sales jumped 41.2 percent in terms of sales value.

The robust data came despite tightening measures in several cities to cool the property market, including purchase limits and tightened restrictions on mortgages.

While the property recovery has proved to be a significant growth driver so far, policymakers have to walk a fine line to guide market expectations, since either an asset bubble or a sharp correction could increase risks to the broader economy.

The figures were among a series of indicators released by the NBS, including industrial production and retail sales, which all pointed to a stabilizing economy.

China's GDP expanded 6.7 percent year on year in the third quarter, holding steady with the second quarter and within the government target range of 6.5 to 7 percent for 2016.

Industrial output expands

China's industrial output expanded 6 percent in the first ten months of 2016, thanks largely to strong performance in the high-tech and equipment manufacturing sectors, NBS data showed Monday.

The growth rate was unchanged from that posted for the first half of the year, the NBS announced.

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 (US$2.93 million).

In October, industrial output rose 6.1 percent year on year, unchanged from September, and up from 5.6 percent in October last year.

The increase in industrial output was largely buoyed by the fast-developing high-tech and equipment manufacturing sectors.

Industrial output for the two sectors jumped 10.5 percent and 10.1 percent in October, respectively, much faster than overall growth.

Profits of large enterprises rose 8.4 percent year on year to 4.64 trillion yuan during the first three quarters, unchanged from the growth rate posted for the first eight months, the data also showed.

After more than a decade of double-digit growth, the country's annual industrial growth slowed to 8.3 percent in 2014, and 6.1 percent in 2015, due to mounting downward economic pressure.

China's gross domestic product grew by 6.7 percent in the third quarter, the same as the second quarter.

Retail sales

China's retail sales of consumer goods grew 10.3 percent year on year in the first 10 months this year, slightly down from 10.4 percent for the first three quarters, official data showed Monday.

Retail sales maintained steady and relatively fast growth during the period, according to a statement from the NBS.

The growth was partly contributed by booming Internet-based sales, with online sales surging 25.7 percent year on year to 3.93 trillion yuan (about US$575 billion) from January to October.

In October, retail sales grew by 10 percent, 0.7 percentage points slower than September, the NBS said.

The data also showed strong consumption in rural areas last month, with retail sales expanding 10.3 percent, outpacing the 10-percent expansion in urban areas.

Booming retail sales are behind China's stabilizing economy, which grew 6.7 percent in the first three quarters of 2016, steady with the first half of the year, and within the government's target range of between 6.5 and 7 percent for 2016.

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