Tuesday, 26 September, 2017

China's retail sales up 10.7% in April

China's April economic data indicate growth momentum slows after strong Q1 China reported industrial production fixed-asset investment and retail sales for
Saul Franklin | 16 May, 2017, 09:52

Analysts had forecast industrial production to rise 7%, retail sales to increase 10.8% and fixed-asset investment to increase grow 9.1%.

Despite achieving faster-than-expected growth over the past four quarters, China's declining productivity is a major source of concern.

China's crude steel output in April hit a fresh historical high of 72.78 million mt, up 4.9% year on year, data released by the National Bureau of Statistics Monday showed. From January to April, online retail sales surged 32 per cent year on year to 1.92 trillion Yuan.

Retail sales rose 10.7 per cent in April from a year earlier, weaker than March's 10.9 per cent gain as home appliances and automobile sales growth slowed from March.

May 15 Real estate investment in China rose 9.3 percent in the first four months of 2017 from a year earlier, official data showed.

A red-hot property market, fueled by speculative investments, has been identified by analysts and policymakers as one of the biggest risks to growth.

Industrial production saw a marked retreat in April, dropping 0.9 percentage points to a year on year growth rate of 6.5%, well below expectations of 7.1 per cent.

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Still, most economists believe China can achieve its growth target of 6.5 percent this year as momentum from the year's strong start helps prop up the economy, the report noted.

Investment in the industrial sector rose only 3.5 percent in the first four months, a main drag on total investment growth.

In value terms sales totalled Rmb3.3tn ($US478.2bn), up 20.1% from the January-April period in 2016 but down down 5 percentage point slowdown from the prior year.

"All the data sends the same message: The economy slowed down meaningfully in April", Larry Hu, head of China economics at Macquarie Securities in Hong Kong, told Bloomberg News.

But with the ambitious new Silk Road global development initiative and the Xiong'an "satellite" capital plan, analysts don't expect China to stray too far from the investment-led growth model.

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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