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News from China
Investment ebbs, consumption advances for China economy
20th January 2016

Investment in the Chinese economy continued to ebb amid government efforts to destock and cut overcapacity, while fresh drivers like consumption and the service sector become more robust.

The annual growth of China's urban fixed-asset investment, once a key driver of the economy, continued to cool in 2015 to 10 percent year on year, down from 15.7 percent in 2014, official data showed on Tuesday.
 
This is the latest step in continued deceleration of growth for fixed-asset investment, money used to purchase and build factories, machines, property and other fixed facilities.
Fixed-asset investment in the agricultural sector jumped the fastest, up 31.8 percent year on year, followed by 10.6 percent growth for the service sector and 8 percent for the industrial sector.
 
The figures are part of economic data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) which showed annual growth of the world's second largest economy slowed to 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015 and 6.9 percent for the whole year.
 
Investment, which used to be a main driver of the Chinese economy, has slowed and is now seen as a drag on the overall economic growth.
 
Investment in the property sector slowed to a larger extent, with its annual growth cooling to 1 percent in 2015, a sharp decrease from the 10.5-percent growth in 2014, official data showed.
 
Investment in residential housing, which accounts for about two-thirds of the total property investment, edged up 0.4 percent from a year earlier, compared with a growth of 0.7 percent in the first 11 months.
 
New housing construction dropped 14 percent year on year in the year, with new residential housing construction declining 14.6 percent.
As old growth drivers slow, consumption has risen to fill take up the slack.
 
Retail sales of consumer goods, a key indicator of consumption, performed well thanks to pro-consumption policies, jumping 11.1 percent year on year to 2.86 trillion yuan (436 billion U.S. dollars).
 
Consumption contributed 66.4 percent to the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015, up 15.4 percentage points from 2014, NBS data showed.
 
The rising ratio represents concrete progress in creating a more consumption and service driven economy in order to sustain growth.
 
The service sector contributed 50.5 percent to the economy in 2015, up from 48.1 percent in 2014, official data showed. It is the first time the service sector has exceeded 50 percent, indicating China's economic restructuring has made progress, according to the NBS.
 
Source: Xinhua
Chinese tourists contribute to growth in New Zealand accommodation sector
19th January 2016

A surge in Chinese travelers helped maintain a boom in New Zealand's accommodation sector in November last year, according to figures from the government statistics agency Tuesday.

Guest nights across the country for November were up 4.6 percent from a year earlier, making the 20th straight month of growth, said Statistics New Zealand.
 
"Guest nights continued to rise this month, with the South Island leading the way when compared with November 2014," business indicators manager Clara Eatherley said in a statement.
 
Domestic guest nights were up 5.2 percent, and international guest nights were up 3.8 percent.
 
For the year ended November 2015, national guest nights were up 4.8 percent from the November 2014 year.
 
Chinese tourists drove a record rise in the number of overseas visitors to New Zealand in November, Statistics New Zealand said last month.
Visitor arrivals were up 11 percent year on year to 300,500 in November, with the biggest increase from China - up 35 percent to 36,700.
Visitors from China were the highest-ever for a November month, twice as high as November 2013.
 
In the year ending November, visitor arrivals reached a record 3.09 million, up 9 percent year on year, with Australia contributing 1.32 million, China 344,900, and the United States 240,000.
 
Source: Xinhua
China to levy reserve requirements on overseas financial institutions
18th January 2016

China's central bank decided to normalize the reserve requirements on deposits placed by overseas financial institutions at their branches in the country starting from Jan. 25, according to a statement released by the People's Bank of China (PBOC) on Monday.

Overseas financial institutions do not include central banks and other similar agencies such as official reserve managers, international financial organizations and sovereign wealth funds.
 
The PBOC set the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) for such institutions at zero in December 2014, but the ratio will now be "normalized."
The move will not affect domestic yuan liquidity, the PBOC said in the statement.
 
Setting a normal RRR for overseas financial institutions will "help subdue cyclical movement of cross-border yuan funds and guide overseas financial institutions in strengthening their management of yuan liquidity," the statement said.
 
The policy will increase the cost of short-selling offshore yuan and depress arbitrage based on the spreads of offshore and onshore yuan, according to China International Capital Corporation, a Chinese investment bank.
 
Offshore yuan has weakened sharply in past few days. In early January, it dipped below 6.7 against the U.S dollar. Offshore yuan rose moderately in early morning trading on Monday.
Source: Xinhua
FDI rises 6.4 pct despite slowing economy
15th January 2016
Foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Chinese mainland maintained steady growth in 2015 despite the economic slowdown in the world's second-largest economy.

FDI, which excludes investment in the financial sector, rose 6.4 percent year on year to 126.27 billion U.S. dollars in 2015, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said on Thursday.

Investment in the country's burgeoning service industry continued robust growth, accounting for 61.1 percent of total flows during the period.

FDI in the manufacturing sector came in at 39.54 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for 31.4 percent of the total. Flow to high-tech manufacturing gained 9.5 percent to 9.41 billion U.S. dollars.

The MOC attributed the growth to the government cutting red tape around investment approvals and accelerating construction of free trade zones.

Foreign mergers and acquisitions in China increased sharply, with their share of total FDI surging from 6.3 percent in 2014 to 14.1 percent in 2015.

The Chinese economy expanded 6.9 percent in the first three quarters of 2015, the lowest reading since the second quarter of 2009.
 
Source: Xinhua

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