* May factory output +8.8 pct y/y vs f'cast +8.8 pct
* Jan-May fixed-asset investment +17.2 pct y/y vs f'cast
* May retail sales +12.5 pct y/y vs 12.1 pct f'cast
* Property investment slows, sales slump
(Adds details, analyst quotes)
BEIJING, June 13 China's economy showed some
signs of stabilising in May as the government unveiled more
stimulus measures to avert a sharper slowdown, with retail sales
logging their best performance of the year.
But signs of further deterioration in the property market
indicate more policy support may still be needed to steady the
world's second-largest economy.
Factory output rose 8.8 percent in May from year earlier, in
line with market expectations and quickening slightly from
April's 8.7 percent pace, the National Bureau of Statistics said
Fixed-asset investment, an important driver of economic
activity, grew 17.2 percent in the first five months of 2014
from the same period last year, ahead of forecast of 17.1
percent but weaker than the 17.3 percent pace in the first four
Retail sales, a key gauge of consumption, rose 12.5 percent
in May from a year earlier -- the fastest pace since December
and beating market expectations of 12.1 percent.
Taken together, data for May released over the past week
point to an economy that is steadying thanks to increased
government support. But the recovery appears patchy and analysts
believe more policy support will be needed, especially if the
cooling property market starts to deteriorate sharply and weighs
more heavily on broader manufacturing activity.
"The slowing investment growth was mainly caused by the poor
performance in property investment. Thanks to government efforts
to quicken construction of infrastructure projects, it helped to
hold up total investment," said Tang Jianwei, economist at Bank
of Communications in Shanghai.
"Both retail sales and industrial output figures showed some
signs of improvement. Still, it's too early to say that the
economy is stabilising."
Real estate investment rose 14.7 percent in the first five
months of 2014 from a year earlier, while revenues from property
sales dropped 8.5 percent. Both figures were weaker than those
Real estate investment directly affects about 40 other
business sectors in China from steel and cement to furniture,
and is a crucial driver of economic activity.
Stimulus measures unveiled so far include speeding up the
construction of railway projects and public housing, as well as
orders to local governments to fast-forward their fiscal
spending, while the central bank has eased monetary conditions
by guiding market rates lower and cut reserve requirements for
Other data for May showed new bank lending and money supply
rose faster than expected, while total fiscal spending by the
central and local governments surged nearly 25 percent in May
from a year earlier.
Exports grew modestly, but imports unexpectedly fell.
(Reporting by China Economics Team; Editing by Kim Coghill)