Weakening momentum tests nation's resolve to restructure
Updated: 2014-05-14 10:03
By Zheng Yangpeng (China Daily)
'New norm' of slower growth indicates the leadership wants quality, not quantity, reports Zheng Yangpeng
Statistics for April have confirmed that economic momentum in China continued to weaken from March, testing the leadership's resolve to tolerate slower growth while pursuing long-term restructuring.
China's growth fundamentals haven't changed, and the country is still in a "significant period of strategic opportunity", Xi said, according to a Xinhua News Agency report on Saturday.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, industrial output rose 8.7 percent year-on-year in April - the slowest pace in five years - following an 8.8 percent gain in March.
Fixed-asset investment, a key driver of growth in recent years, grew 17.3 percent in the first four months of the year. That was weaker than the 17.6 percent rise during the first quarter, and it was a steep drop compared with 2013, when investment rose 19.6 percent for the full year.
Real estate investment, a key component of fixed-asset investment, expanded 16.4 percent in the first four months, slower than the 16.8 percent gain in the first quarter.
Construction starts, which are highly sensitive to shifts in market sentiment, slumped 22.1 percent year-on-year during the first four months in terms of area. That plunge threatens to intensify the economic deceleration and increase the government's challenges in achieving its expansion goals.
Retail sales disappointed analysts, rising just 11.9 percent in April from a year earlier, the weakest growth in more than five years.