China: Growth in industrial production falls to six-year low at the beginning of the year
March 11, 2015
In the January-February period, industrial production expanded 6.8% over the same period last year, which was below the 7.9% increase recorded in December. Authorities usually report the January and February data together in order to smooth out distortions related to the Chinese New Year holiday. The increase tallied in the first two months of the year undershot the 7.7% expansion that market analysts had expected and represented the weakest gain since February 2009. The print mainly reflected a softer expansion in manufacturing output. Conversely, growth in electricity, gas and water supply as well as in mining accelerated in the same period.
On a monthly basis, industrial production expanded 0.45% in seasonally-adjusted terms in February, which was slightly down from the 0.47% increase tallied in January. As a result of the weak growth observed at the beginning of the year, the trend continues to point downward; annual average growth in industrial production ticked down from December’s 8.3% to 8.0% in February, which marks the lowest reading on record.