China's property investment sees growth in Jan., Feb.

Cornelia Mascio
Marzo 17, 2019

Real estate investment in China rose 11.6 percent in the first two months of 2019 from a year earlier, accelerating from a 9.5 percent gain for the full-year of 2018, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Thursday.

BEIJING-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.

Housing transactions slowed as property sales by floor area fell 3.6 percent year-on-year in the first two months of 2019, easing from the 0.9 percent gain in December.

"Looking into the future we expect more cities will take measures to stabilise their own markets, but we don't expect Beijing to lift the curbs across the board", said Daniel Yao, head of research at JLL China, a property services and investment management company.

Growth in infrastructure spending, a powerful economic driver in previous years, picked up to 4.3 percent on-year, compared with a rise of 3.8 percent last year.

In January and February vehicle sales continued to fall and manufacturing activity sunk.

China's survey-based jobless rate rose to 5.3 percent in February, from 4.9 percent in December, the statistics bureau said, though it was below the government's target of 5.5 percent this year. A year ago investment in infrastructure crumbled as China hit the brakes on major projects such as subway lines and motorways to keep a lid on debt.

Private sector fixed-asset investment also lost a step, rising 7.5 percent versus an increase of 8.7 percent in 2018.

Earlier this week, industry data showed automobile sales in China fell for the eighth consecutive month in February, adding to concerns about weaker consumer confidence.

"February's decrease in CPI growth was mainly due to the disturbance from the Spring Festival holiday, and we expect the figure to recover to about 1.8 percent in March", said Wang Qing, a researcher at Beijing-based Golden Credit Rating International.

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.

Data on Thursday showed China's property investment quickened in the January-February period driven by strong demand in smaller cities. The output increased by 0.5 percent compared to past year.

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