Chinese Slowdown Deepens: Industrial Output at 17-Year Low

China industrial output growth falls to 17-year low but investment picks

The indicator of consumption rose 8.2 percent year on year in the first two months of the year, flat with that in December, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

In January-February, China produced some 73.89 million mt of coke, up 7.6% from the same periodlast year.

Growth in China's industrial output fell to a 17-year low in the first two months of the year, pointing to further weakness in the world's second-biggest economy that is likely to trigger more support measures from Beijing, Reuters reports.

But investment picked up speed as the government fast-tracked more road and rail projects, offering some relief for policymakers as they work to avert a sharper slowdown, data showed on Thursday.

The growth was faster than the 9.5-percent expansion recorded in previous year.

China's own official factory survey, which is seasonally adjusted, showed manufacturing output contracted in February for the first time since January 2009.

It is expected that the domestic oil production on China's three national oil companies will be lifter because of higher spending on exploration and production this year.

Fixed-asset investment growth quickened to 6.1 percent in the first two months of this year.

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China's fixed asset investment (or FAI) rose by 6.1%, which was in line with economists' expectations.

That marks the strongest growth for the January-February period since 2014, when it rose 19.3 percent. The agency failed to provide monthly breakdowns of the output because of the week-long celebration of the Lunar New Year Holiday in early February.

However, retail sales remain near a 15-year low, said Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics in a note, adding that "the near-term outlook still looks downbeat".

Xining, the capital of Qinghai province in central China by the Tibetan Plateau, was the top performer last month with a monthly price increase of 2.3 percent.

New construction starts measured by floor area were also much weaker, rising 6 percent in January-February from a year earlier compared with the 20.5 percent in December, according to Reuters calculations.

Thursday's data showed sales of appliances and furniture softened considerably early in the year, possibly linked to worries about the cooling property market and a 3.6 percent drop in home sales.

On an annual basis, home prices rose 10.4 percent in February, accelerating from a 10.0 percent gain in January.

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