No clear impact yet seen from trade tension with U.S.
China's steady economic momentum continued in April, with more vitality released and efficiency enhanced, although the impact of China-U.S. trade tension has not yet shown itself in the economic data, said an official from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Tuesday.
Industrial output rose 7 percent in April year-on-year, up 1.0 percentage points compared with March. The production of new-energy vehicles, integrated circuits and industrial robots saw increases of 82.2 percent, 14.3 percent and 35.4 percent, respectively, data from the NBS showed.
"The supporting effect of new driving forces has been further strengthened, as has overall economic vitality," Liu Aihua, a spokesperson for the NBS, told a press conference in Beijing.
China's retail sales of consumer goods grew 9.4 percent year-on-year to reach 2.85 trillion yuan (0 billion) in April, slightly down from the 10.1 percent rise seen in March, according to the NBS.
Online consumption continued to be robust with sales surging 32.4 percent to reach 2.58 trillion yuan during the January-April period, up 0.4 percentage points from the same period in 2017.
Fixed-asset investment reached 15.44 trillion yuan during the first four months of this year, up 7.0 percent from 2017.
Zhao Xiao, a professor with the University of Sciences and Technology in Beijing, told the Global Times Tuesday that the growth rate anticipated by the market had been 7.4 percent. "The figure of 7.0 percent turned out to be the lowest since 2000," Zhao said.
Infrastructure spending increased by 12.4 percent year-on-year from January to April, but the growth rate has been slowing since the second half of 2017.
However, a growth rate of above 12 percent is still considerable, given the country's efforts to move from high-speed to high-quality economic development, said Liu, as it means there is less room for growth.
The slowdown in infrastructure investment is partly due to the government's desire to normalize public-private projects, which are relatively new in China and need improvement, and efforts to curb local government debt, Liu noted.
In April, exports and imports showed robust growth despite the Sino-U.S. trade friction, which has not yet shown any impact on the domestic economy, according to the NBS spokesperson. But looking to the future, "there are still many uncertainties," she said.
The overall trend of domestic economic development this year is upward based on consumption and trade data, said Dong Dengxin, director of the Finance and Securities Institute at the Wuhan University of Science and Technology.