This undated photo shows Sinopec technicians check facilities at a natural gas storage area in Puyang, Henan province. (MA HONGSHAN / FOR CHINA DAILY)
BEIJING - China's industrial output expanded 6.8 percent year on year in May, slower than the 7-percent rise in the previous month but still faster than the 6-percent increase in March, official data showed Thursday.
In the first five months, industrial output rose 6.9 percent, flat with that of the first four months, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in a statement.
The service sector picked up pace, with its production index up 8.1 percent last month, quickening from 8 percent in April
Industrial output, officially called industrial value added, is used to measure the activity of designated large enterprises with annual turnover of at least 20 million yuan (about US$3 million).
A breakdown of the data showed the production and supply of electricity, thermal power, gas and water reported the fastest growth at 12.2 percent among all the industries in May.
The service sector picked up pace, with its production index up 8.1 percent last month, quickening from 8 percent in April. Software, information technology, and business services maintained robust increases.
Retail sales up 8.5%
China's retail sales of consumer goods grew 8.5 percent year on year to reach 3 trillion yuan (about US475 billion) in May, official data showed.
The expansion slowed slightly from the 9.4-percent rise seen in April, according to the NBS.
In the first five months, China's retail sales of consumer goods grew 9.5 percent year on year, down 0.2 percentage points from the January-April period.
Sales in rural areas gained 9.6 percent in May, outpacing the growth of 8.3 percent in urban areas.
In breakdown, the catering sector reported a 8.8-percent year-on-year rise in revenues, while sales of other consumer products increased 8.4 percent.
Online spending continued to be robust, with sales surging 30.7 percent to reach 3.27 trillion yuan in the January-May period.
Consumption has been a key economic driver for China and contributed to 77.8 percent of economic growth in the first quarter, up from 58.8 percent in 2017.
Fixed-asset investment up 6.1% in first five months
China's fixed-asset investment (FAI) expanded 6.1 percent in the first five months of the year, down from 7 percent for January-April.
On a monthly basis, the FAI went up 0.47 percent in May, according to the NBS.
China has a better investment structure and the economy is sound and steady, NBS spokesperson Mao Shengyong told a press conference.
Private investment rose at a faster rate than overall growth. FAI by the private sector climbed 8.1 percent year on year in January-May, up 1.3 percentage points from the growth in the same period last year.
Investment in manufacturing grew 5.2 percent in the first five months, up from 4.8 percent for January-April. FAI to high-tech manufacturing and equipment manufacturing jumped 9.7 percent and 8.2 percent respectively in the period.
Property development investment up 10.2% in Jan-May
China's investment in property development expanded 10.2 percent year on year in the first five months of this year, the NBS said Thursday.
The growth was slightly slower than 10.3 percent in the January-April period.
Investment in real estate development stood at 4.1 trillion yuan (about US$650 billion) in the first five months, according to the NBS.
Residential real estate investment reached 2.9 trillion yuan, up 14.2 percent year on year, with the growth flat with that of the first four months.
Investment grew fastest in the northeastern region - 19.9 percent - up 9.2 percentage points from the January-April period.
Real estate developers were built about 6.8 billion square meters of housing in the first five months, up 2 percent year on year.
Commercial housing sales measured by floor area rose 2.9 percent year on year, up 1.6 percentage points compared with the first four months. Sales in value climbed 11.8 percent, up 2.8 percentage points.
At the end of May, about 560 million square meters of housing was unsold in China, down 6.8 million square meters from a month earlier.