China property investment rises in April as controls eat into sales

China April industrial production up less than seen 6.5%, retail sales gain 10.7%

China is targeting growth of around 9 percent in fixed asset investment for 2017, and expects retail sales to increase about 10 percent.

Output growth slowed on tumbling steel and iron ore prices amid concern over rising inventories after China's mills cranked out as much metal as possible to drive factory production to its highest since December 2014.

BEIJING, May 15 China's April refinery throughput fell to its lowest level on a daily basis since last September as some large state-owned refineries conducted planned oil plant maintenance and crude oil output continued to drop. From January to April, online retail sales surged 32 percent year on year to 1.92 trillion yuan.

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The slowdown in retail turnover was moderate, with 10.7 per cent year-on-year growth only just below March's 10.9 per cent, and slightly ahead of typical economist forecasts.

Fixed asset investment had been forecast to grow 9.1 percent over the first four months of the year, easing from 9.2 percent in Jan-March.

Industrial production saw a marked retreat in April, dropping 0.9 percentage points to a year on year growth rate of 6.5%, well below expectations of 7.1 per cent.

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In recent years China has been transitioning from an investment-driven economic model to one more reliant on consumer spending but it has been a bumpy ride.

A hot property market, fuelled by speculative investments, has been cited by analysts and policymakers as one of the biggest risks to growth.

Investment in the industrial sector rose only 3.5 percent in the first four months, a main drag on total investment growth, while investment in the service sector rose 12.1 percent. The gains, which amounted to year-over-year growth of 6.9% in the March quarter, sent a clear signal that government spending would remain a key driver of domestic growth.

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A slew of upbeat economic data pointed to latest restructuring achievements and provided fresh stabilization signs for the Chinese economy. Growth will continue to be underpinned by a strong infrastructure pipeline which also echoes the Belt and Road initiative and urbanisation projects like Xiong'an.

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