China GDP falls to 26-year low, hits gov't target
Source: Xinhua | January 20, 2017, Friday
CHINA'S economy grew 6.7 percent year on year in 2016, the slowest pace of growth in 26 years, but well within the government's target range, official data showed Friday.
Growth in the fourth quarter came in at 6.8 percent, accelerating from the 6.7 percent in the third quarter, according to National Bureau of Statistics data (NBS).
The government target was 6.5 to 7 percent growth for 2016.
Gross domestic product totaled 74.41 trillion yuan (about US$10.83 trillion) in 2016, with the service sector accounting for 51.6 percent.
The data showed that major economic indicators softened last year, with industrial output growth slowing slightly to 6 percent from 6.1 percent in 2015.
Urban fixed-asset investment continued to cool, rising 8.1 percent year on year, compared with 10 percent in 2015. Retail sales rose 10.4 percent, down from 10.7 percent in 2015.
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Firms halt publishing of home price data
Source: Agencies | January 21, 2017, Saturday
AT least two major Chinese private providers of home price data have stopped publishing the figures, at a time when economists are split whether the red-hot property market will remain a driver of the economy in 2017.
The China Index Academy, a unit of US-listed Fang Holdings, has stopped distributing monthly housing price index data for 100 cities that it usually issued at the start of the month.
The academy said yesterday that it had suspended distribution indefinitely, without giving a reason for the suspension.
“I don’t know who exactly is making the order, and it’s not mandatory,” said a source with knowledge of the matter, who declined to be identified as the topic is a sensitive one.
Home price data from private providers tend to show sharper increases than official data from the National Bureau of Statistics, which publishes monthly and annual percentage changes in 70 major cities.
New home prices grew the most last year since 2011, bureau data published yesterday showed. Growth moderated in December as 12 of 15 cities previously singled out by authorities as overheating saw price drops, an increase from November.
Since last summer, the government has levied curbs on buying and ownership to rein in soaring prices and limit asset bubble risks.
E-house China, another private real estate consultancy, has also indefinitely halted its monthly housing price index for 288 cities.
“Judged by current conditions, we won’t publish it in the future,” said Cherilyn Tsui, a public relations officer at CRIC, the consultancy’s real estate research branch.
“We stopped distributing prices data a few months ago. At first it was just no external distribution, but now even internally we don’t distribute any more,” she said.
“Housing prices are an extremely sensitive matter right now,” a second source with knowledge of the matter said on condition of anonymity.
E-house’s last data release in November said new home prices in Beijing and Shanghai rose 1.32 percent and 1.09 percent in October from a month earlier, respectively. The bureau reported a rise of 0.5 percent.