BEIJING — China’s value-added industrial output, an important economic indicator, expanded 5.8 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2016, accelerating from the 5.4 percent increase for the January-February period, official data showed on April 15.
In March alone, industrial output rose 6.8 percent from a year earlier, the highest growth since June, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
On a monthly basis, industrial production increased 0.64 percent in March from February.
Industrial value-added output measures the output of Chinese companies with annual revenues above 20 million yuan (3.26 million U.S. dollars).
Industrial production accounted for 40.5 percent of China’s total GDP in 2015, making it one of the leading indicators of economic growth.
In breakdown, industrial production in eastern regions climbed 6.3 percent in the first quarter. Central and western regions both rose faster, 7 percent and 7.3 percent up on the previous year, respectively.
Output of the high-tech and equipment manufacturing industries maintained strong growth, rising 9.2 percent and 7.5 percent, respectively.
Manufacturing output expanded 6.5 percent during the period, up from 6 percent in the first two months. Mining output growth accelerated to 2.1 percent, from 1.5 percent in the Jan.-Feb. period.
Meanwhile, the output of the electricity, heating, gas and water sectors picked up in the period by growing 2.6 percent, the NBS said.
The data, along with other figures released on April 15, indicates growth in the country’s economy is stabilizing.
The country’s GDP grew 6.7 percent in the first quarter, down from the previous quarter’s 6.8 percent growth, but several key indicators pointed to signs of stabilizing.
Fixed asset investment grew 10.7 percent in the first three months, accelerating from 10.2 percent in the Jan.-Feb. period. Retail sales rose 10.3 percent, slightly higher than the 10.2 percent growth registered in the first two months.