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China industrial output growth slows more than expected at start of 2019

China's annual industrial production growth eased to 5.3% in the first two months of 2019, down 0.4 percentage points from the December 2018 reading and missing Econoday expectations of a 5.5% expansion, data from the country's National Bureau of Statistics showed.

After adjustments for the Spring Festival, industrial production grew by 6.1% year over year in the January-February period. Production edged 0.43% higher on a monthly basis in February.

Retail sales reached 6.606 trillion Chinese yuan in the first two months of 2019, up 8.2% on an annual basis, meeting the Econoday consensus that growth would be at the same pace as in December 2018. In February, retail sales were up 0.81% month over month.

In the January-February period, China's investment in fixed assets, excluding that by rural households, grew 6.1% year over year to 4.485 trillion yuan. Investment in high technology industries grew by 8.6%, while it surged 19.5% in industrial technological transformation on an annual basis during the two months.

Fixed asset investment rose by 0.43% on a monthly basis in February.

As of March 13, US$1 was equivalent to 6.71 Chinese yuan.