China's property investment sees growth in Jan., Feb.

China's property investment sees growth in Jan., Feb.

However, retail sales remain near a 15-year low, said Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics in a note, adding that "the near-term outlook still looks downbeat".

Industrial output rose 5.3 percent in January-February, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said, less than expected and the slowest pace since early 2002.

Developers say market sentiment has improved recently thanks to looser credit policies.

US President Donald Trump said yesterday he sees a "very good chance" of reaching a trade deal with China but is in "no rush" to reach an agreement.

"The market has obviously become better this month", said a senior executive from a top Chinese developer, who declined to be named because he is not authorized to speak to media.

Growth had been expected to cool to 5.5 percent from December's 5.7 percent.

The latest data showed growth in retail sales for January-February remained flat from December, rising 8.2% year-on-year and slightly above forecasts from economists polled by Bloomberg News.

"The data suggests some cities resorted to price-cutting to promote sales under the pressure of meeting sales targets amid a traditionally off-season for the market", said Yan Yuejin, director of the E-house China Research and Development Institution.

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Private-sector fixed-asset investment, which accounts for about 60 percent of overall investment in China, rose 7.5 percent in the same period, compared with an 8.7 percent rise in 2018, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

Consumer and business confidence has slipped over recent quarters in the wake of heightened economic uncertainty and a yet-unresolved Sino-U.S. trade dispute, discouraging residential investment.

Failed land auctions in China have increased significantly since the second half of 2018.

In the January to February period, exports stood at 2.4 trillion yuan, while imports were 2.1 trillion yuan.

In the first two months of 2019 the Chinese economy has slowed down again, and industrial outout has fallen to a 10 year low.

In some smaller cities, authorities have loosened restrictions on property purchases to stoke revenue from their slowing real estate markets.

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 past year, raising the risk of a milder-than-expected bounce in construction when work resumes in warmer weather.

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