China's industrial sector improves, challenges remain

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-04-26 17:28

BEIJING - The industrial sector, which accounts for more than one-third of China's GDP, picked up steam in the first quarter of the year, but still faces challenges at home and abroad, a senior official said Wednesday.

The sector was off to a good start in the first quarter, with some indicators, industries and regions performing better than expectation, Zheng Lixin, spokesman of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), said at a press conference.

China's industrial production expanded at a faster pace, with the value-added industrial output rising 6.8 percent year on year in the first three months, up from 6.3 percent for January and February, and 6 percent for 2016.

The sector's profitability and entrepreneur confidence also improved, Zheng said. An MIIT survey of 6,000 enterprises showed 44.2 percent of them registered sound performance in the first quarter, up from 32.2 percent a year before.

Zheng said the country was pushing supply-side structural reform in the sector, cutting excessive capacity and strengthening competitiveness.

He said more supportive policies were needed to sustain momentum in the sector, which was still plagued by a protracted global economic recovery, weak investment growth and rising operating costs.

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