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BEIJING, April 17 China's factory output rose
7.6 percent in March from a year earlier, while fixed-asset
investment grew 9.2 percent in the first quarter, both beating
Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted factory output
would grow by 6.3 percent in March, the same pace as in as
January and February combined.
Factory output in March rose the fastest on a yearly basis
since it increased 7.9 percent in December 2014.
Fixed asset investment had been forecast to grow 8.8 percent
over the first three months of the year, easing from 8.9 percent
Retail sales rose 10.9 percent in March from a year earlier.
Analysts had forecasted they would rise 9.6 percent, edging up
from the previous period.
Growth of private investment quickened 7.7 percent in the
first quarter from 6.7 percent in January-February, the National
Bureau of Statistics said on Monday, suggesting an improved
appetite from private firms to invest after a sharp loss of
momentum in recent years.
Private investment accounts for about 60 percent of overall
investment in China.
China is targeting growth of around 9 percent in fixed asset
investment for 2017, and expects retail sales to increase about
China has cut its economic growth target to around 6.5
percent this year to give policymakers more room to push through
painful reforms to contain financial risks after years of
The economy grew 6.7 percent in 2016, the slowest pace in 26
(Reporting by Kevin Yao; Editing by Kim Coghill)