Chinese industrial production jumps in March, amid stable Q1 GDP growth

By Alexander Bueso

Date: Wednesday 17 Apr 2019

Chinese industrial production jumps in March, amid stable Q1 GDP growth

(Sharecast News) - Economic activity in China was stable at the start of 2019, amid a sharper-than-expected pick up for industrial production and retail sales in March.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the of economic growth was steady at 6.4% year-on-year over the first three months of 2019.

The consensus forecast had been for a dip in the pace of expansion from the 6.4% clip observed over the last three months of 2018 to 6.3%, if not worse, although recent more upbeat data, especially on Chinese trade had led some analysts to caution clients of the risk of upwards surprises in Wednesday's data.

Growth in industrial value added meanwhile jumped from the 5.3% pace observed in February to 8.5% for March (consensus: 5.9%).

Retail sales also increased more quickly than expected, rising from 8.2% to 8.7% (consensus: 8.4%).

"Stepping back, we suspect that the surge in industrial output growth last month may partly reflect seasonality or other distortions especially given that data published today show a decline in industrial capacity utilisation rates last quarter," said Julian Evans-Pritchard at Capital Economics.

"[...] But with credit growth now accelerating and sentiment improving, China's economy will bottom out before long, if it hasn't already."

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