China's retail sales up 10.7 pct in April

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Value-added industrial output, a rough proxy for economic growth, rose by 6.5% in April from a year earlier, compared with a 7.6% increase in March, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed Monday.

The number was more than a percentage point under March's rise and well below.

China is targeting growth of around 9% in fixed asset investment for 2017, and expects retail sales to increase about 10%.

Fixed-asset investment grew 8.9% in the first four months of this year, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

Growth in China's retail sales, investment and industrial production all softened in April, indicating a weak start to the second quarter despite apparent resilience in domestic lending activity.

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Investment in the industrial sector rose only 3.5 percent in the first four months, a main drag on total investment growth, while investment in the service sector rose 12.1 percent. However, "we're still some way off from the economy weakening to the point where it will test the tolerance of policymakers.as the urgency to address some of these financial risk issues (is even greater)", he said.

In the first four months, total retail sales of consumer goods rose 10.2 percent year on year, 0.2 percentage points faster than the growth in the first quarter, according to Xing Zhihong, a spokesperson with the NBS.

A slew of upbeat economic data pointed to latest restructuring achievements and provided fresh stabilization signs for the Chinese economy.

Although still in negative growth, China's crude oil production has been declining less rapidly in recent months and is expected to post flat growth for the whole of 2017, said Seng Yick Tee, analyst with consultancy SIA Energy. That was slower than expected and a bit less than the January-March period.

Private investment accounts for about 60 percent of overall investment in China. "Growth will continue to be underpinned by a strong infrastructure pipeline which also echoes the Belt and Road initiative and urbanisation projects like Xiong'an", ANZ economists Raymond Yeung and Betty Wang wrote in a note.

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