China Q1 GDP Growth Remains Robust


The Chinese economy expanded by 6.8 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2018, the same pace as in the previous two quarters and in line with market expectations. Growth was mainly supported by solid consumption, property investment and exports.

The value added of the primary industry was up by 3.2 percent; the secondary industry by 6.3 percent; and the tertiary industry by 7.5 percent.

Industrial production grew by 6.8 percent in the first quarter. In March only, it rose by 6.0 percent, below market expectations of 6.4 percent and after a 7.2 percent gain in the previous period. It was the smallest increase in industrial production since last August, as output expanded at a softer pace for: textiles (0.8 percent vs 2.8 percent); general equipment (6.8 percent vs 9.1 percent); transport equipment (4.2 percent vs 4.9 percent); machinery (8.4 percent vs 9.4 percent); and power equipment (5.1 percent vs 13.1 percent). In addition, production of non-metal minerals fell 0.8 percent, after a 4.2 percent gain in the previous period. Meawhile, output growth picked up for: chemicals (4.3 percent vs 2.4 percent); ferrous metals (5.2 percent vs 1.7 percent); and communication (12.8 percent vs 12.1 percent).

Retail sales grew 9.8 percent in the first quarter. In March only, retail sales increased 10.1 percent, beating market consensus of 9.7 percent and following a 9.7 percent rise in the previous period. It was the steepest increase in retail trade since last November, as sales rose at a faster pace for: building materials (10.2 percent vs 6.8 percent in January-February); furniture (10.9 percent vs 8.5 percent); home appliances (15.4 percent vs 9.2 percent); personal care (16.9 percent vs 10.1 percent); jewelry (20.4 percent vs 3.0 percent); cosmetics (22.7 percent vs 12.5 percent); and garments (14.8 percent vs 7.7 percent). In addition, sales rebounded sharply for office supplies (12.6 percent vs -0.9 percent). Meanwhile, retail trade growth was unchanged for oil, oil products (at 9.1 percent) and slowed for both automobiles (3.5 percent vs 9.7 percent) and telecoms (1.6 percent vs 10.7 percent).

From January to March, fixed-asset investment increased by 7.5 percent to CNY 1,007.63 billion, compared to a 7.9 percent rise in the first two months of the year and missing market expectations of 7.7 percent. Public investment rose at a softer pace (7.1 percent vs 9.2 percent in January-February) while private investment advanced further (8.9 percent from 8.1 percent). By industry, fixed investment growth eased for agriculture (23 percent vs 25.3 percent); manufacturing (3.8 percent vs 4.3 percent); transport, storage and postal industry (9.7 percent vs 13.4 percent) and water conservancy, environment and public facilities management (13.8 percent vs 16.1 percent). Meanwhile, fixed-asset investment fell strongly for electricity, heat, gas and water production (-8.9 percent vs -6.1 percent).

Figures released earlier showed that China's exports grew 14.1 percent in the first quarter and imports jumped 18.9 percent.

For 2018, the Chinese government targets growth at around 6.5 percent, the same as in 2017 amid efforts to deleverage, contain debt and financial risks. "Trade dispute with the US will not change the stable development of the country’s economy", a spokesman for the National Statistics Bureau/NBS, Xing Zhihong, said in a news conference. "China is fully capable of responding to Sino-US trade frictions, responding to challenges and maintaining sustained and healthy economic development," he added.


China Q1 GDP Growth Remains Robust


National Bureau of Statistics l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com
4/17/2018 10:09:18 AM