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China's post-Covid rebound gets off to unbalanced start

China's post-Covid rebound got off to an unbalanced start, with the retail sales growth in the first two months of 2023 only matching the expected percentage and real estate investment falling further, China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in a statement.

Industrial output was less impressive in the January-February period - expanding a slower-than-expected 2.4 per cent year on year. The retail sales rose in line with expectations at 3.5 per cent, on par with the same period last year.

According to China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in the first two months, the investment in fixed assets (excluding rural households) reached 5,357.7 billion yuan, up by 5.5 per cent year on year, 0.4 percentage points higher than that of the year 2022; the average two-year growth was 8.8 per cent.

"Specifically, the investment in infrastructure grew by 9.0 per cent year on year, that in manufacturing grew by 8.1 per cent, and that in real estate development declined by 5.7 per cent. The floor space of commercial buildings sold was 151.33 million square meters, down by 3.6 per cent; the total sales of commercial buildings were 1,544.9 billion yuan, down by 0.1 per cent," the statement read.

"By industry, the investment in the primary industry went up by 1.5 per cent, that in the secondary industry up by 10.1 per cent, and that in the tertiary industry up by 3.8 per cent. The private investment went up by 0.8 per cent. The investment in high-tech industries grew by 15.1 per cent, of which the investment in high-tech manufacturing and high-tech services grew by 16.2 per cent and 12.3 per cent respectively," it added.

Meanwhile, in the first two months, the total value of imports and exports of goods was 6,176.8 billion yuan, down by 0.8 per cent year on year. The value of exports was 3,493.6 billion yuan, up by 0.9 per cent, and the value of imports was 2,683.3 billion yuan, down by 2.9 per cent.

In the first two months, the producer prices for industrial products went down by 1.1 per cent year on year. In January, the producer prices for industrial products went down by 0.8 per cent year on year or down by 0.4 per cent month on month. In February, it went down by 1.4 per cent year on year, or maintained the same level as that of the previous month. In the first two months, the purchasing prices for industrial producers dropped by 0.2 per cent year on year.

 

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