China economic growth takes another step back
Factory output, fixed-asset investment, retail sales all come in lower than expected
China’s economy delivered another round of worse-than-expected indicators, with April factory output, fixed-asset investment and retail sales all pointing to a broader slowdown.
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. Factor output expanded at 7.6% in March, the fastest pace in more than two years.
Fixed-asset investment grew 8.9% in the first four months of this year, the National Bureau of Statistics said. (Polls predicted 9.1%.)
Retail sales rose 10.7% in April from a year earlier. Analysts had forecasted they would rise 10.6%, edging lower from the previous period’s 10.9% growth.
Private investment growth – which accounts for about 60% of the national total – slowed to 6.9% in the first four months, 7.7% in the first quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Monday, suggesting small- and medium-sized private firms still face tough access to financing.
Private investment accounts for about 60% of overall investment in China.
China is targeting growth of around 9% in fixed asset investment for 2017, and expects retail sales to increase about 10%.
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 has cut its economic growth target to around 6.5% this year to give policymakers more room to push through painful reforms and contain financial risks after years of debt-fueled stimulus.