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China’s retail sales, industrial data soundly beat expectations
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BEIJING — China reported Tuesday better-than-expected growth in retail sales, fixed asset investment and industrial production to start the year.

The data releases combine the two months of January and February as is the Chinese statistics bureau custom to avoid distortions from the Lunar New Year holiday, which can fall in either month depending on the year.

Retail sales grew by 6.7% year-on-year, topping expectations of analysts polled by Reuters for growth of 3% from a year ago. Furniture was the only category within retail sales to decline, down 6%. Petroleum products and gold, silver and jewelry saw the greatest increases.

Fixed asset investment rose by 12.2%, well above the forecast for a 5% increase. Within fixed asset investment, that in high-tech manufacturing saw one of the largest increases, up by 42.7%. Infrastructure investment grew by 8.1%. Investment in real estate development rose by 3.7%, even as commercial floor space sold fell by 9.6%.
Industrial production also beat, up by 7.5% versus expectations of 3.9% growth.

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