China: Industrial production slows at the beginning of the year
March 13, 2012
In the January-February period, industrial production expanded 11.4% over the same period last year, which was below both the 12.8% rise recorded in December and the 12.3% increase expected by market analysts. In fact, industrial production advanced at its slowest pace since July 2009. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released the annual figures of the first two months together in order to smooth the strong seasonality associated with the Chinese New Year holiday. The moderation seen in industrial production was mainly due to slower growth in heavy industries, particularly in the production of cement and pig iron. Seasonally adjusted data corroborate the slowdown suggested by the annual figures, as industrial production grew only 0.38% over the previous month in January and 0.70% in February, which were below the 0.94% rise observed in December. Owing to the moderation seen in January-February, the trend continued to drop, with annual average growth in industrial production falling from 13.9% in December to 13.3% in February.