China Jan-April property investment rises 9.3 pct y/y

Trevor Jackson
May 16, 2017

China is trying to shift its economy toward a growth model driven by consumer spending, innovation and services, while weaning it off reliance on exports and investment.

ANZ researchers said China appeared to be returning "to an investment-driven growth strategy" with projects such as One Belt, One Road providing a strong infrastructure pipeline.

China's economy has slowed from its recent bounce, with retail sales, urban investment and industrial output all posting slower growth in April than the previous month. Property development investment rose 9.3 percent to 2.77 trillion yuan.

Seasonal refinery maintenance also accounted for China importing lower volumes of crude oil in April compared to the record-breaking imports in March.

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In the first three months of the year China expanded by a better-than-expected 6.9 percent, raising hopes the economy was stabilising after the 2016 growth rate of 6.7 percent, which was the slowest in a quarter of a century. The gains, which amounted to year-over-year growth of 6.9% in the March quarter, sent a clear signal that government spending would remain a key driver of domestic growth.

As of Monday, 31.7 million tons of steel and iron capacity and 69 million tons of coal capacity have been cut, accounting for 63.4 percent and 46 percent of the annual targets, respectively, Xing said.

Fixed-asset investment in nonrural areas of China climbed 8.9% in the first four months of 2017 from a year earlier, slowing from a 9.2% increase over the January-March period.

The soft activity data, combined with weak manufacturing sector growth and slowing producer prices inflation, reinforced analysts' view that China's economic expansion remains solid but is starting to taper off. "But both domestic and worldwide environment is still complicated and structural contradictions have not been fundamentally eased", said Xing. However, he added: "We're still some way off from the economy weakening to the point where it will test the tolerance of the urgency to address some of these financial risk issues (is even greater)".

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