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China: Growth in industrial production slows to an over six-year low in March

April 15, 2015

In March, industrial production expanded 5.6% over the same month last year, which was below the 6.8% increase recorded in the first two months of the year. Authorities usually report the January and February data together in order to smooth out distortions related to the Chinese New Year holiday. March’s print undershot the 7.0% expansion that market analysts had expected and represented the weakest gain since February 2009. The print mainly reflected a softer expansion in mining and manufacturing output. Moreover, the electricity, gas and water supply category recorded an outright contraction in the same month.

On a monthly basis, industrial production expanded 0.25% in seasonally-adjusted terms in March, which was down from the 0.40% increase tallied in February. 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 February’s 8.0% to 7.7% in March, which marked the lowest reading since 1990.

For 2015, FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect industrial production to grow 8.0%, which is unchanged from last month’s projection. In 2016, the panel sees industrial production growth declining to 7.4%.


Author: Ricard Torné, Head of Economic Research

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China Industry March 2015

Note: Year-on-year variation of industrial production index and annual average growth rate in %. Owing to seasonal factors related to the Lunar New Year, annual figures in January and February are reported together.
Source: National Bureau of Statistics of China (NBS) and FocusEconomics calculations.


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