Economy

China NBS: China's economic growth in Jan-Feb within reasonable range

China NBS: China's economic growth in Jan-Feb within reasonable range

Beijing-China's industrial output slowed during the first two months of the year as unemployment rose, official data showed Thursday, while some indicators showed a slowdown in the world's second largest economy stabilizing.

In January-February, China produced some 73.89 million mt of coke, up 7.6% from the same periodlast year.

China's refiners processed 102.49 million tonnes of crude oil during January and February, according to the data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Most analysts believe activity may not convincingly stabilise until the middle of the year.

China set its 2019 economic growth target at 6.0-6.5 percent this year, slower than the growth recorded in 2018.

China's own official factory survey, which is seasonally adjusted, showed manufacturing output contracted in February for the first time since January 2009.

China is grappling with a decline in global demand - most notably from the U.S., which launched a trade war previous year.

Growth in fixed-asset investment, a major growth driver in the past, quickened to 6.1 percent in the first two months of this year, slightly more than analysts had expected and edging up marginally from 5.9 percent in 2018.

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Falling property sales in Jan-Feb due to Lunar New Year factors.

Benchmark rebar prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange have climbed 10 percent in the past two months and hit a peak of 3,908 yuan ($582.82) a tonne on February 11, the highest level since late August.

"February's decrease in CPI growth was mainly due to the disturbance from the Spring Festival holiday, and we expect the figure to recover to about 1.8 percent in March", said Wang Qing, a researcher at Beijing-based Golden Credit Rating International. Infrastructure spending ticked up 4.3 percent on-year in January-February, from 3.8 percent last year.

Xining, the capital of Qinghai province in central China by the Tibetan Plateau, was the top performer last month with a monthly price increase of 2.3 percent.

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. Infrastructure spending ticked up 4.3% in January and February, from 3.8% the same time a year ago.

"The growth trend of the modern service industry is relatively good", Mao said, adding that information transmission, software and information technology industries maintained a high growth rate of 26.5 percent.