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--China Q4 GDP Data Due For Release Jan 18
     BEIJING (MNI) - China's GDP data will be released on Thursday, Jan 18,
including industrial output, fixed-asset investment, retail sales and real
estate sales & investments. MNI survey indicate analysts generally expect a mild
slowdown in the fourth quarter, with the median estimate at +6.7% vs +6.8% in
     Ahead of the release, MNI outlines five themes that warrant particular
- Upside risks: 2017 annual GDP growth is likely to be "around 6.9%", as Premier
Li revealed earlier in a conference last week. Any GDP growth rate different
than 6.9% will be a surprise to the market. An annual growth rate of 6.9%
implies China's economic condition is stable at the moment. With annual GDP
growth rate less of a secret, the factors supporting GDP growth will be the main
- Upside risks in industrial output growth: Environment protection campaign is
likely to reduce industrial output, and the market expects to see a weaker
industrial output growth of 6% in December. However, MNI notes that industrial
output has tended to pick up at the quarter-end -- March, June and September
this year. A higher-than-expected industrial output is likely to push up Chinese
bond yields.
- Growth in infrastructure investment may remain strong. While growth in
fixed-asset investment (FAI) was relatively weak in October and November,
infrastructure investment was nonetheless strong. If December data on
infrastructure turns out strong, its contribution to growth will be more
pronounced. That means the funding constraint of local governments will likely
be relaxed next year if a slowdown does happen.
- Growth in real estate investment may stabilize after a slower trend since
April. Investors' concerns of property restrictions have been alleviated
speculating the government will loosen regulations somewhat to deal with
economic downward pressures. Rising property investment growth in December may
further boost investors' confidence in real estate in 2018.
- Retail sales face downside risk: December import growth was surprisingly low,
raising concern that domestic demand has weakened. A possible retail sales
slowdown will add to the concern.
--MNI Beijing Bureau; +86 10 8532 5998; email: