China’s drive to grow 5% in 2024 starts with uneven showing


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BEIJING – China’s bid to hit a growth target of around 5 per cent in 2024 is off to an uneven start, with a strong rebound in factory output and investment but a slowdown in consumption growth in January and February. Its keenly watched property slump also continued in February, with sharp declines in real estate investment, new home sales and construction starts, according to data released on March 18. Analysts warned that the deepening real estate slide in the world’s second-largest economy might overshadow the gradual pick-up in other sectors. Overall, the “data release showed mixed messages”, said Dr...