China NBS: China's economic growth in Jan-Feb within reasonable range

China NBS: China's economic growth in Jan-Feb within reasonable range

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected it to rise 6.0 percent, edging up marginally from 5.9 percent in 2018.

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

China's property investment accelerated in the first two months of the year driven by strong demand in its hinterland and defying a decline in sales, government curbs in bigger markets and a broader economic slowdown.

Fixed-asset investment growth was 6.1 percent year-on-year in the combined January to February period, compared with 5.9 percent for the whole of 2018, the NBS said on Thursday.

President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he was in no rush to complete a trade pact with China and insisted that any deal include protection for intellectual property, a major sticking point between the two sides during months of negotiations.

Pressured by weak demand at home and overseas, China's industrial output rose 5.3 percent in January-February, less than expected and the slowest pace since early 2002.

Output growth at China's factories and workshops for the first two months slowed to 5.3% year-on-year, from 5.7% in December, a multi-year low and short of forecasts.

But fixed-asset investment rose 6.1 percent, while retail sales rose 8.2 percent, both more than expected.

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The possibility of having deflation in China is small. The statistical agency did not provide monthly breakdowns because of the week-long Lunar New Year holiday that fell in early February.

But sales of appliances and furniture softened considerably early in the year, possibly linked to a 3.6 percent drop in home sales.

The People's Bank of China (PBoC) has already cut banks' reserve requirements five times over the past year, most recently in January, and more reductions are expected from the coming quarter to free up more funds for lending.

"The growth trend of the modern service industry is relatively good", Mao said, adding that information transmission, software and information technology industries maintained a high growth rate of 26.5 percent.

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

The central bank is also expected to continue to guide borrowing costs lower.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang last week laid out a lower growth target of 6-6.5% this year, from 6.6% growth in 2018, which was already the slowest pace for nearly three decades.

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