Published: Sun, March 17, 2019
Business | By Eloise Houston

China's property investment rises 11.6% y-o-y in Jan-Feb

China's property investment rises 11.6% y-o-y in Jan-Feb

Data released on Thursday showed that refineries' output in China in the first two months of 2019 increased by 6.1 percent compared to past year based on a daily basis record because the emerging privately owned refineries started the operations of their processing facilities.

Other data released on Thursday showed growth in China's industrial output fell to a 17-year low in the first two months of the year.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected it to rise 6.0 percent, edging up marginally from 5.9 percent in 2018.

Beijing is rolling out more support measures to avert a sharper slowdown, but many analysts do not expect activity to convincingly bottom out until summer. But several analysts including Nomura estimated growth momentum may have eased despite Beijing's push. Infrastructure spending ticked up 4.3 percent on-year in January-February, from 3.8 percent last year.

China is trying to engineer a construction boom to rekindle demand and kickstart the economy, even as it steps up support measures to keep cash-starved smaller companies afloat, ranging from tax cuts to financial incentives for firms which do not cut staff.

China's unemployment rate rose to 5.3% in January and February from 4.9% in December, reports the South China Morning Post, citing figures from the National Bureau of Statistics.

Industry data this week showed automobile sales in China fell for the eighth consecutive month in February.

Thursday's data showed sales of appliances and furniture softened considerably early in the year, possibly linked to worries about the cooling property market and a 3.6 percent drop in home sales.

The People's Bank of China (PBoC) has already cut banks' reserve requirements five times over the previous year, most recently in January, and more reductions are expected from the coming quarter to free up more funds for lending. Land transaction fees in 40 major Chinese cities fell 20.9 percent in January-February period from the same time a year earlier, according to the state-run Securities Times. Most of the 70 cities surveyed by the NBS still reported monthly price increases for new homes, though the number was down to 57 from 58 in January.

Natural gas output rose to 28.7 billion cubic metres in the first two months of 2019, up 9.2 percent from a year earlier, the data showed, with the growth accelerating after output expanded 7.5 percent for the whole of 2018.

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