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China investment growth steady, private sector improves

Updated: Nov 14,2016 1:48 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China’s fixed-asset investment maintained steady growth in the first ten months of 2016, with investment by the private sector showing signs of improvement, data released Nov 14 showed.

Fixed asset investment grew 8.3 percent year on year to 48.44 trillion yuan ($7.1 trillion) during the January-October period, up from the 8.2-percent gain seen in the first three quarters, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said.

Fixed-asset investment includes capital spent on infrastructure, property, machinery and other physical assets.

Investment by the state sector surged 20.5 percent during the period, while private-sector investment increased 2.9 percent, 0.4 percentage points higher than that in the first nine months, as the government intensified efforts to boost growth in the sector.

The torpid growth of private investment this year has concerned policymakers as the private sector regularly contributes more than 60 percent of China’s GDP growth and provides over 80 percent of jobs.

Private investment accounted for 61.5 percent of all investment in the first ten months, the NBS data showed.

Growth in property development investment continued to grow, to 6.6 percent in the first ten months of 2016, higher than the 5.8 percent posted in the first nine months.

In terms of floor area, property sales went up 26.8 percent year on year, and sales jumped 41.2 percent in terms of sales value.

The robust data came despite tightening measures in several cities to cool the property market, including purchase limits and tightened restrictions on mortgages.

While the property recovery has proved to be a significant growth driver so far, policymakers have to walk a fine line to guide market expectations, since either an asset bubble or a sharp correction could increase risks to the broader economy.

The figures were among a series of indicators released by the NBS, including industrial production and retail sales, which all pointed to a stabilizing economy.

China’s GDP expanded 6.7 percent year on year in the third quarter, holding steady with the second quarter and within the government target range of 6.5 to 7 percent for 2016.

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