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June 15, 2017

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Industrial output and retail sales expand faster

CHINA’S industrial output and retail sales grew faster than expected in May while fixed-asset investment slowed, but the data showed the economic growth was largely steady.

China’s value-added industrial output, an important economic indicator, added 6.5 percent year on year in May, flat with April’s, the National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday.

However, the growth was faster than hopes for 6.3 percent according a Reuters poll, and the 6-percent increase in May last year.

But data indicated cooling momentum in the second quarter as industrial output rose 6.7 percent year on year in the first five months.

Industrial output of state-owned enterprises rose 6.2 percent in May, that of joint stock enterprises grew 6.8 percent, while foreign and offshore-investment enterprises posted a 5.9 percent increase.

Retail sales rose 10.7 percent in May, flat with April’s and 0.1 percentage points faster than market expectations, the data showed.

Fixed-asset investment rose 8.6 percent year on year in the first five months, slower than the 8.9 percent gain in the first four months. The growth, however, missed expectations for 8.8 percent gain.

Investment by the private sector, which accounted for more than 60 percent of the total FAI, rose 6.8 percent annually.

“China’s main economic activity indicators remained stable in May,” Morgan Stanley said in a note yesterday. “The breakdown data show resilient growth in downstream production and manufacturing capital expenditure.”

The US bank said even as growth is softening from the second quarter onwards amid tightening, the impact from tighter liquidity will likely be manageable, as the growth driver turns from property and SOE-led investment.


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