The nation at the forefront of financial market movements so far in 2016 — China — will be back in focus today with the release of Q1 2016 GDP along with industrial production, retail sales and urban fixed asset investment figures for March.
Here’s the state of play.
- China’s economy grew by 6.8% from the December quarter of 2014, the slowest year-on-year expansion seen since the March quarter of 2009.
- Full-year growth was 6.9%, the slowest annual expansion recorded since 1990.
- According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the preliminary estimate for GDP was 67,670.8 billion yuan, or around $10,300 billion.
- Growth in China’s tertiary industries – predominantly services – increased by 8.3% to 34,156.7 billion yuan, outpacing those in the nation’s secondary (27,427.8 billion yuan) and primary industries (6,086.3 billion yuan) of 6.0% and 3.9% respectively.
- This reflects the economy’s transition towards growth powered by services and consumption rather than past drivers such as industry, investment and trade.
- According to a survey of 64 economists polled by Thomson Reuters, economic growth is expected to slow to 6.7% year-on-year in the March quarter. Forecasts range from 5.8% to 7.2%.
- The GDP figure has a curious knack of coming in around market expectations. The past five GDP figures have either been in line with forecasts or exceeded them by 0.1%.
- The seasonally adjusted quarterly GDP growth rate is forecast to slow to 1.5%, down from 1.6% in the prior quarter.
- Alongside the GDP release, the NBS will also release industrial production, retail sales and urban fixed asset investment figures for March.
- After growing at the equal slowest annual pace since early 2002 in February, industrial output is tipped to accelerate to 5.9% from 5.3%.
- Retail sales are expected to grow 10.4% year-on-year, up from 10.2% in February, while urban fixed asset investment — the one positive surprise from February — is expected to have grown by 10.3% between January to March compared to the same period in 2015, up from 10.2% reported previously.
All four data points are scheduled for 12pm AEST, although in the past there have been numerous instances where the data — particularly GDP — has been leaked prior to the scheduled release time.
Whether before, after or on schedule, Business Insider will have full coverage as soon as the data deluge drops.