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Data shows stable growth in October

Reporter: Yang Chengxi 丨 CCTV.com

11-15-2016 00:33 BJT

China's economy showed signs of steadying in October, but disappointing retail sales growth is clouding the outlook.

The data is looking good. Fixed-asset investment quickened slightly and beat expectations in the first ten months of the year. That came as the government stepped up infrastructure spending to support growth.

"In October, our domestic economy generally continued a development trend like the first three quarters, which sees an overall stability, progress in stability and quality improvement in stability, with an increase in positive factors." Said National Bureau of Statistics Mao's spokesman Shengyong.

Property investment grew 6.6 percent, accelerating from 5.8 percent in the first nine months. Experts say the data suggests that real estate developers have yet to feel any notable pressure from recent measures to curb speculative home purchases. Officials predict that property investment will accelerate or remain at current levels.

"Last year's base was pretty low, which makes this year's property investment growth relatively high. It is caused by the base. Bases in last November and December were also pretty low, so I think property investment will accelerate a bit or stay on its current momentum, and will not decrease dramatically. This is the case."Shengyong said.

The most surprising miss for October was found in retail sales, which cooled to a five-month low of 10 percent from 10.7 percent in September. However, analysts were quick to note that it was too early to tell if slowing consumption would turn into a trend.

Mao Shengyong said "It is still possible for consumption to maintain a relatively fast growth. Based on the current situation, we think consumption in the fourth quarter can maintain stable growth. In terms of your question about whether or not (China) can achieve targets and tasks for the whole year, previously the targets and tasks for the whole year were set to be between 6.5 percent and 7 percent, and I think there should not be a problem achieving over 6.5 percent."

October exports and imports also fell more than expected. That added to doubts that the pick-up in economic activity in the world's largest trading nation can be sustained even if a trade war with the U.S. doesn't materialize. President-elect Trump had lambasted China throughout his campaign, drumming up headlines with his pledges to slap 45 percent tariffs on imported Chinese goods and label the country a currency manipulator his first day in office.

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