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China industrial output expands 6.3% for Jan-Feb

Updated: Mar 14,2017 10:35 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China’s value-added industrial output, an important economic indicator, expanded 6.3 percent year on year in the first two months, compared with the 6-percent increase for December of 2016, official data showed on March 14.

The 6.3-percent growth was up from the 5.4-percent increase in Jan-Feb 2016. It was also higher than the 6-percent annual gain seen in 2016, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Industrial output, officially called industrial value added, is an important economic indicator. It is used to measure the activity of designated large enterprises with annual turnover of at least 20 million yuan ($2.9 million).

On a monthly basis, industrial production expanded 0.6 percent in February, the data showed.

In breakdown, manufacturing output expanded 6.9 percent in the first two months, 0.6 percentage point higher than that of December. Mining output growth declined 3.6 percent, from a decline of 2.5 percent in December.

Meanwhile, the output of the electricity, heating, gas and water sectors picked up in the Jan-Feb period by growing 8.4 percent, from the 8-percent increase recorded in December, the bureau said.

Ownership analysis showed that industrial output of State-holding enterprises was up 5.4 percent, while output of share-holding enterprises grew 6.2 percent. Meanwhile, industrial output of enterprises funded by overseas investors increased 6.8 percent.

Amid the drive to restructure and optimize industry, the country aims to reduce overcapacity in traditional sectors such as iron and steel while facilitating growth in emerging areas.

The industrial output figures were released by the NBS along with a slew of other major economic indicators for the first two months.

China’s economy grew 6.7 percent year on year in 2016, the slowest pace of growth in 26 years, but well within the government’s target range.

The country’s 2017 growth target of around 6.5 percent — or higher if possible — has set a proper range while allowing enough room for reform.