China April factory output, investment growth miss forecasts

China April factory output, investment growth miss forecasts

The area of property sold grew 15.7 percent in January-April from the same period a year earlier, down from 19.5 percent in the first three months of the year, the NBS said.

Retail sales, a broad measure of private and government spending, climbed 10.7% year-on-year, compared to 10.9% in March.

However, the declines in growth for both urban investment and industrial output were larger than forecast.

Today's data showed that China's fixed-asset investment surged 8.9% in the first four months of 2017, also missing the 9.1% estimated by Reuters.

Industrial output was the biggest disappointment, however, growing at just 6.5 per cent, down from 7.6 per cent in March and a typical forecast of 7.1 per cent for April.

"The figures indicate continued growth of domestic consumer demand, which was partly driven by consumption upgrades and new business patterns such as online sales", said NBS spokesperson Xing Zhihong. Property development investment rose 9.3 percent to 2.77 trillion yuan.

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

Economists believe that attempts to rein in financial leverage will weigh on growth in coming months as rates rise and banks restrict lending to lower quality borrowers, such as smaller real estate developers.

Investment by state-controlled firms saw a slight rebound to 13.8% growth for the year to date, while private investment growth for the period suffered a more significant slowdown to 6.9% growth compared to 7.7% in the first three months of 2017. However, "we're still some way off from the economy weakening to the point where it will test the tolerance of policymakers.as the urgency to address some of these financial risk issues (is even greater)", he said.

At the same time, growth in the service sector slowed to 8.1 per cent year on year, down from 8.3 per cent growth in March and the slowest since December.

China's economy expanded at a 6.9 per cent pace in the first quarter, accelerating from 6.8 per cent in the previous quarter, and 77.2 per cent of it was driven by consumption, 12.6 percentage points higher than the 2016 level.

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