NBS: China's economy remains stable, investment accelerates in Jan-Feb

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In particular, Capital Economics and others noted that infrastructure investment has not improved as much as hoped after the government began fast-tracking road and rail projects a year ago, raising the risk of a milder-than-expected bounce in construction when work resumes in warmer weather.

China's property investment accelerated in the first two months of the year driven by strong demand in its hinterland and defying a decline in sales, government curbs in bigger markets and a broader economic slowdown.

In January-February, China produced some 73.89 million mt of coke, up 7.6% from the same periodlast year.

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Data released on Thursday showed that refineries' output in China in the first two months of 2019 increased by 6.1 percent compared to previous year based on a daily basis record because the emerging privately owned refineries started the operations of their processing facilities.

The bureau also said that the total property investment in the first two months reached 1.2 trillion yuan, with 72.1 percent used in residential buildings. In December it was 5.7%.

Retail sales had been expected to rise 8.1 percent, easing marginally from December's 8.2 percent pace.

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Prices growth in China's four top-tier cities - Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou - rose 0.3 percent from a month earlier, slowing from a 0.4 percent gain in January, the statistics bureau said in a statement accompanying the data.

Much of the gain appeared due to a bounce in property investment, which quickened to a five-year high of 11.6 percent, though home sales fell. The rate in the first two months of the year is the highest since hitting 5.4% in February 2017. It is was also predicted that the growth will be small because reserves deplete at the main production fields and as new discoveries tend to be marginal. China's exports to all of its major markets fell across the board last month.

On the back of this unemployment has also increased: in the January-February period it registered a 5.3%; in December it was 4.9%.

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China's state planner announced measures in January to boost consumption of goods ranging from eco-friendly appliances to big-ticket items such as cars, but the size and scope of the subsidy scheme is still unclear. The catering industry reported a 9.7-percent increase in revenue. Infrastructure spending ticked up 4.3% in January and February, from 3.8% the same time a year ago.

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