0313 GMT August 20, 2018
Output at factories and workshops expanded 7.0 percent year-on-year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said, beating the 6.0 percent recorded in March and the 6.4 percent estimated in a Bloomberg News survey, AFP wrote.
The jump in industrial activity was fueled by the easing of winter time pollution controls, said Julian Evans-Pritchard, an economist at Capital Economics.
It also reflected the first full month of data not affected by China’s New Year holidays in February, which disrupt production for months.
“But there are signs in the rest of today’s data that the economy is losing momentum,” Evans-Pritchard said in the note.
The retail sector — which China is counting on to propel it to consumption-fueled development — was one area that fell short of expectations with sales growth slowing to 9.4 percent from 10.1 percent in March.
The indicator fell below the 10 percent forecast by analysts, and reflected a broadly downward trend seen over the past 12 months.
Expansion in fixed-asset investment also sagged to seven percent on-year for the first four months, from the 7.5 percent recorded in January to March.
“Looking ahead, domestic spending is likely to continue to soften given the headwinds from slowing credit creation,” said Evans-Pritchard.
The data comes at a time of great uncertainty for China’s export machine as political machinations in Washington threaten shipments to one of its largest markets.