Fixed investment growth rate declines
Improvement in demand for investment will help consolidate the foundation for domestic economic growth this year, after fixed-asset investment in the private sector witnessed a mild uptick at the end of 2016, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Jan 20.
Official data released by the bureau showed that in 2016, fixedasset investment increased by 8.1 percent year-on-year, down by 0.2 percentage points compared with the first 11 months.
The decline is in line with the slowing pace of the government’s approval for infrastructure construction projects.
The National Development and Reform Commission, the nation’s economic regulator, approved 227 fixed-asset investment projects valued 1.7 trillion yuan ($247 billion; 229.7 billion euros; £198.1 billion) in 2016.
In 2015, the commission approved a total of 280 fixed-asset investment projects, valued 2.52 trillion yuan.
Although the year-on-year growth rate of fixed-asset investment slowed down to the lowest level since 1999, a closer look at the data breakdown points to some promising signs.
Investments made by private companies grew by 3.2 percent in 2016 year-on-year, 0.1 percentage points higher than the first 11 months, and the fourth consecutive month to see improvement.
An improvement on the private side indicated some improvement in confidence about the future outlook of the economy, according to Niu Li, an economist at the State Information Center.
Private investment accounts for about 60 percent of total fixed-asset investment, according to the NBS.
Ren Zeping, chief economist of Founder Securities, says the improvement in the private sector was driven up by a warming up in the manufacturing industry and higher-thanexpected property investment.
Investment in the manufacturing industry rose 4.2 percent yearon-year in 2016, up by 0.6 percentage points compared to the first 11 months in 2016, the data showed.
Real estate investment growth was 6.9 percent in 2016, up by 0.4 percentage points higher than the first 11 months, according to NBS.
Zhang Yiping, an economist with China Merchants Securities, says that the month-on-month recovery will provide more growth momentum this year. Zhang says he expects that policies introduced in 2016 to support the private sector — such as expanding channels for private investment — will gradually take effect in 2017.