April 17, 2018 / 2:08 AM / 2 years ago

China March industrial output up 6.0 percent, misses expectations, January-March investment growth slows

Workers pile up sacks of soda ash to be exported at a port in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province, China April 13, 2018. China Daily via REUTERS

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s industrial output grew 6.0 percent in March from a year earlier, missing expectations, while fixed-asset investment growth slowed to 7.5 percent in the first quarter, also below forecasts, data showed on Tuesday.

Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted industrial output growth would cool to 6.2 percent from 7.2 percent in the first two months of the year.

Investment growth had also been expected to ease, to 7.6 percent in the first three months of the year, from 7.9 percent in January-February.

Private-sector fixed-asset investment rose 8.9 percent in January-March, compared with an increase of 8.1 percent in the first two months, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday.

Private investment accounts for about 60 percent of overall investment in China.

Retail sales rose 10.1 percent in March from a year earlier, beating expectations of an increase of 9.9 percent, compared with a rise of 9.7 percent in the first two months.

The government has set an economic growth target of around 6.5 percent this year, the same goal as in 2017. Actual growth last year came in much stronger at 6.9 percent, due largely to an infrastructure-led construction boom, resurgent exports and record bank lending.

Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Kim Coghill

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