China industrial output growth at low

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Beijing - China's industrial output rose 8.6 percent in January and February year-on-year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced Thursday, the worst result in nearly five years.

The figure, which measures production at factories, workshops and mines, was the lowest since 7.3 percent was recorded in April 2009, according to previous NBS data.

Retail sales, a key indicator of consumer spending in the world's second-largest economy, gaining 11.8 percent in the two months from the year before, the NBS said on its website.

That figure was also the lowest for several years.

Fixed asset investment, a measure of government spending on infrastructure, expanded 17.9 percent during the first two months of 2014, the NBS added.

The body released statistics covering a two month period due to China's Lunar New year holiday week, which fell in both months.

The figures come as China's leadership says it wants to transform the growth model away from an over-reliance on often wasteful investment, and instead make private demand the driver for the country's future development.

China announced earlier this month that is targeting economic growth of about 7.5 percent in 2014, the same as last year.

The country's gross domestic product (GDP) grew 7.7 percent in 2013, unchanged from the year before, which was the worst result since 1999. - Sapa-AFP



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