MNI BRIEF: China's Production, Retail Sales Rebound in Jan-Feb
Improved industrial production and retail sales provided evidence of the rebound in China's economy over January-February, while the struggling property sector posted the slowest decline in investment in seven months, data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday showed.
China's industrial production increased 2.4% y/y in Jan-Feb period, faster than the 1.3% y/y growth recorded in December but lagging market expectations for growth of 2.8% y/y. Retail sales registered a 3.5% y/y increase in the first two months, surpassing expectations for 3.0% y/y growth and and well above the 1.8% y/y decrease in December. Sales have been boosted by the rapid increase in consumption of essentials such as grains, oil and clothing, as well as upgraded consumption of gold and silver jewelry and cosmetics, according to the NBS.
Fixed-asset investment registered a 5.5% y/y increase, faster than the 5.1% y/y increase in 2022. The reading beat the consensus forecast of 4.4% y/y growth, led by rapid growth of investment in the high-tech industry. Property investment fell 5.7% y/y, easing from the prior 10.0% y/y decrease, marking the slowest drop in seven months.