Saturday, September 20, 2014   

China investment growth slows
(05-13 15:56)

China's fixed-asset investment, a main measure of government spending on infrastructure projects, rose by its slowest rate in more than 12 years in the January-April period, the government said Tuesday.
Growth in the world's second-largest economy is decelerating, but leaders in Beijing say they want to wean the country off investment as the key driver of expansion and shift the focus to consumer spending, AFP reports.
Fixed-asset investment rose by 17.3 percent year-on-year in the first four months of 2014, slowing from 17.6 percent in the first three months, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said.
The figure is only released cumulatively, and the reading was the lowest since the increase for the whole of 2001, when it stood at 13.7 percent, NBS data showed.
It was one of several figures adding to concerns over the weakening of China's economy, a key driver of the global recovery, and analysts called on Beijing to ease its monetary policy.
"The pressure for more policy easing continues to build,'' Zhang Zhiwei, Nomura's economist based in Hong Kong, said in a research note.
Industrial output, which measures production at factories, workshops and mines, increased by 8.7 percent year-on-year in April, the NBS said, edging down from 8.8 percent a month earlier.
The indicator rose by 8.6 percent in the first two months of the year, the slowest in five years, previous data showed.
Retail sales, a gauge of consumer spending, increased by 11.9 percent last month from a year earlier, the NBS added, down from a 12.2 percent rise in March.
Gross domestic product (GDP) grew 7.4 percent year-on-year in the first three months of 2014, weaker than the 7.7 percent in October-December last year and the worst since a similar 7.4 percent expansion in the third quarter of 2012.
Premier Li Keqiang in March announced a growth target of "around 7.5 percent'' for 2014.
Top officials have publicly ruled out a massive stimulus package to kick-start growth and have instead introduced a series of smaller measures, including a cut in the amount of money rural banks have to keep in reserve, tax breaks for small enterprises and targeted infrastructure outlays.
But ANZ analysts Liu Ligang and Zhou Hao said the growth target was unlikely to be achieved without a cut in lending rates as well as in the amount of money banks must keep in reserve.
"If the government still views that achieving a 7.5 percent growth target is important for its credibility, China's monetary policy will have to play its necessary role by easing further in order to help pull the economy out of a state of lethargy,'' they said in a report.
China in April cut the reserve requirement ratio for rural banks by up to two percentage points, the first such move since May 2012, when it slashed the ratio to 20 percent for large financial institutions and 16.5 percent for smaller ones.
It has not reduced lending rates since July 2012.   
Other Business breaking news:
China sentences GSK officials to 2-4 years in prison: Xinhua (09-19 17:05)
China's total loan demand dampens in Q3: survey (09-19 16:51)
Drugmaker GSK fined in China graft probe: report (09-19 16:50)
Hang Seng tracks Street gains (09-19 16:43)
Alibaba sets IPO share price at US$68 (09-19 15:39)
London stocks surge after Scotland rejects independence (09-19 15:38)
Japan downgrades economic assessment as PM promises reform (09-19 14:03)
Chinese buyers lead charge in iPhone 6 global debut (09-19 13:25)
Hang Seng dips, Shanghai gains (09-18 16:17)
Nikkei jumps on weaker yen (09-18 14:44)

More breaking news >>

© 2014 The Standard, The Standard Newspapers Publishing Ltd.
Contact Us | About Us | Newsfeeds | Subscriptions | Print Ad. | Online Ad. | Street Pts

 


Home | Top News | Local | Business | China | ViewPoint | CityTalk | World | Sports | People | Central Station | Spree | Features

The Standard

Trademark and Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014, The Standard Newspaper Publishing Ltd., and its related entities. All rights reserved.  Use in whole or part of this site's content is prohibited.   Use of this Web site assumes acceptance of the
Terms of Use, Privacy Policy Statement and Copyright Policy.  Please also read our Ethics Statement.