Investment remains the key to China’s economic growth, and China’s economic planner’s data, released on Feb 15, backed that view.
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) approved 18 large fixed asset investment projects with investment totaling 153.9 billion yuan ($22.3 billion) last month amid efforts to stabilize economic growth by boosting infrastructure investment.
Investment in January was lower than the 184 billion yuan ($26.8 billion) approved in December, but higher than the monthly average of 142 billion yuan ($20.7 billion) reported for 2016.
“January’s investment will go to 18 fixed asset investment projects, including six agricultural water conservancy projects, three transport projects, and two energy projects,” said NDRC spokesman Zhao Chenxin.
China’s fixed asset investment grew 8.1 percent year-on-year in 2016, down from 10 percent in 2015, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
The clean energy sector attracted 15 percent of the total investment in January, accounting for less than 10 percent of the whole spending on fighting pollution.
Despite slowing growth, the structure of the investments was improved. More than half of the total investment went into major infrastructure projects, such as information technology, power grids, energy and transportation.
The latest economic data for January, including on foreign trade, consumer inflation and producer price index, all reinforced the view that growth in the world’s second-largest economy is firming up.