April 17, 2020 / 2:25 AM / 4 months ago

China March industrial output falls 1.1% year-on-year, better than forecast; first-quarter investment slides 16.1%

FILE PHOTO: A man works at a furnace at a steel plant of Dalian Special Steel Co Ltd. in Dalian, Liaoning province, China July 13, 2018, Picture taken July 13, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s industrial output fell a less steeper-than-expected 1.1% in March from a year earlier, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Friday, as the coronavirus crisis and strict containment measures severely disrupted the world’s second-largest economy.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected industrial output to fall by 7.3% in March, moderating somewhat after plunging 13.5% in the first two months of the year.

Retail sales dived 15.8% in March, worse than analysts’ expectations for a 10% drop. They had tumbled 20.5% in the first two months as authorities locked down much of the country, consumers shunned crowded places and many shops and restaurants closed.

Fixed asset investment dropped 16.1% in January-March, worse than a forecast 15.1% drop. The gauge had sunk 24.5% in the first two months, the first contraction on record.

Private sector fixed-asset investment, which accounts for 60% of the country’s total investment, declined 18.8% in the first quarter of this year, compared with a 26.4% fall in January-February.

While China has largely brought the virus outbreak under control, officials are worried about a possible second wave of infections and analysts warn it could take months before the economy recovers to normal levels.

Reporting by Gabriel Crossley, Judy Hua and Stella Qiu; Editing by Shri Navaratnam

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below