Economic Activity in China Slows in Many Sectors in April

Following a strong start to the year, economic activity in China slowed in many sectors in April, a potential early sign of softness in the world's second-largest economy, official data showed Monday.

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 increase came in lower than a median forecast of 7.0% growth by 11 economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal.

On a month-over-month basis, industrial production increased 0.56% in April, compared with a 0.83% rise the previous month.

Fixed-asset investment in nonrural areas of China climbed 8.9% in the first four months of 2017 from a year earlier, slowing from a 9.2% increase over the January-March period. The rise in fixed-asset investment, a closely watched indicator of construction activity, undershot economists' median forecast for a 9.1% gain.

Retail sales grew 10.7% in April from a year earlier, slowing from a 10.9% increase, maintaining the same pace as in March. April's growth was faster than a median forecast for a 10.5% rise in April.

Retails sales rose 0.79% in April compared with the previous month. In March they grew 0.84%.

China's economy grew 6.9% in the first quarter from a year earlier, the strongest pace in six quarters.

Write to Pei Li at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 14, 2017 22:16 ET (02:16 GMT)