Ro­bust econ­omy slows in Oc­to­ber

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By LI XIANG in Bei­jing lix­i­ang@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China’s eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity mod­er­ated in Oc­to­ber as data from the Na­tional Bureau of Sta­tis­tics showed on Tues­day, but the coun­try’s over­all eco­nomic strength re­mains ro­bust and is on track to achieve whole-year growth tar­gets, an NBS of­fi­cial said.

In­dus­trial pro­duc­tion grew by 6.2 per­cent year-on-year in Oc­to­ber, miss­ing an­a­lysts’ fore­cast of 6.3 per­cent and fall­ing by 0.4 per­cent­age point from last month, ac­cord­ing to the NBS.

Fixed-as­set in­vest­ment also saw weaker growth of 7.3 per­cent year-on-year in the first 10 months of this year, com­pared with 7.5 per­cent dur­ing the first nine months.

The prop­erty sec­tor cooled, as in­vest­ment growth eased to 7.8 per­cent year-on-year in the first 10 months while re­tail sales growth mod­er­ated to 10 per­cent year-on-year in Oc­to­ber, down by 0.3 per­cent­age point from last month.

Liu Ai­hua, an NBS spokes­woman, said that fluc­tu­a­tions of the eco­nomic data in Oc­to­ber did not change the over­all trend of China’s steady eco­nomic growth with im­proved qual­ity and ef­fi­ciency.

Steady pro­duc­tion growth,

sound em­ploy­ment and sta­ble con­sumer prices in­di­cated that the over­all eco­nomic per­for­mance re­mained in the “rea­son­able” ter­ri­tory, which laid a solid foun­da­tion for the coun­try’s ful­fill­ment of its whole-year eco­nomic tar­get, Liu said at a news con­fer­ence in Bei­jing.

The Chi­nese gov­ern­ment has set the whole-year eco­nomic growth tar­get at around 6.5 per­cent. The coun­try al­ready saw ro­bust growth of 6.9 per­cent in the first three quar­ters.

De­spite the mod­er­ate eco­nomic con­trac­tion in Oc­to­ber, Qu Tian­shi, an econ­o­mist at ANZ Group, said he re­mained op­ti­mistic about China’s eco­nomic out­look as the gov­ern­ment pol­icy pri­or­ity will fo­cus on push­ing re­form and re­duc­ing eco­nomic lever­age.

“Hav­ing that as the main pol­icy theme in mind, a slower or faster growth rate doesn’t re­ally mat­ter that much as long as the data of cor­po­rate profit, em­ploy­ment and in­fla­tion re­main in the rea­son­able range,” Qu said.

Chi­nese in­dus­trial en­ter­prises re­ported to­tal profit of 5.58 tril­lion yuan ($840 bil­lion) in the first nine months of the year, up by 22.8 per­cent year-on-year. The growth rate was 14.4 per­cent­age-points faster than the same pe­riod of last year.

China’s ur­ban un­em­ploy­ment rate dropped be­low 5 per­cent in Oc­to­ber and the num­ber of new jobs cre­ated in cities in the first 10 months stood at 11.9 mil­lion, al­ready ex­ceed­ing the whole-year tar­get of 11 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to Liu, the NBS of­fi­cial.

Wang Tao, chief China econ­o­mist at UBS Se­cu­ri­ties, said that the soft­en­ing eco­nomic growth in Oc­to­ber was mainly due to the cool­ing prop­erty mar­ket and de­cel­er­at­ing in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment.

YU CHANGJUN / FOR CHINA DAILY

A car owner sweeps his ve­hi­cle in Yakeshi, In­ner Mon­go­lia au­ton­o­mous re­gion, on Tues­day. The tem­per­a­ture dropped to -30 C af­ter the first snow­fall.

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