China's economy continues to show improvement in combined figures of the first two months of 2023, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed Wednesday.
"The restarting of China's growth engine is gathering pace, supported by robust industrial output, the rebound of consumption and service activities as well as expanding investment in infrastructure and manufacturing," Pang Ming, chief economist and director of Research at JLL Greater China told CGTN.
China's value-added industrial output, an important economic indicator, went up 2.4 percent year on year, NBS data showed.
The growth rate rose by 1.1 percentage points compared to December 2022, and the two-year average growth rate stood at 4.9 percent.
China's retail sales of consumer goods increased 3.5 percent year on year, marking the first gain since October last year.
China's fixed-asset investment, a gauge of expenditure on items including infrastructure, property, machinery and equipment, went up 5.5 percent, which is 0.4 percentage points higher than the full-year growth rate of 2022.
"The data in January and February as a whole represents a trend of stabilization and recovery," NBS spokesperson Fu Linghui told a press conference on Wednesday. Fu noted four positive signs, namely, rising production demand, stable employment and consumer prices, and improved market expectations.
However, real estate investment in January and February fell again, dropping by 5.7 percent compared to the same period last year, although the decline was at a slower pace compared to the 12.2 percent drop in December.
"Property investment remains a laggard, yet we expect it to gradually improve in the next several quarters on the back of an unevenly recovering physical market," said Pang.
After its economy grew by three percent last year, China has set an annual growth target of around five percent this year during the just concluded "two sessions" – the annual meetings of China's top legislature and political advisory body.
"To deliver a steady and sustainable recovery with equal emphasis on growth and quality, China will have to depend on a substantial improvement in consumer demand," Pang noted.
Various departments are already planning policies to expand demand this year, which will help achieve the annual growth target, according to Fu.