China Economy

Investment flows into China grow at fastest pace since mid-2013

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 February, 2014, 11:18am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 February, 2014, 1:22am

China attracted foreign direct investment of US$10.8 billion last month, up 16.1 per cent from a year earlier, the Ministry of Commerce said yesterday, boding well for the top leaders' efforts to keep the economy on an even keel as they push reforms.

That was the fastest annual growth rate since July.

"It's a blessing for China that it still enjoys [investment] inflows while other emerging markets are suffering capital flight," Yao Wei, chief China economist of Societe Generale in Hong Kong, told the South China Morning Post. "But the time for China to see very fast growth in [such investments] is over."

Foreign direct investment into the world's second-largest economy hit a record US$117.6 billion last year, up 5.3 per cent from 2012, underlining investor confidence that the mainland Chinese economy can keep growing at a solid pace while reshaping its growth model towards a more sustainable track.

"Some policy moves have shown their effects, and the decision to push forward reforms at the third plenum boosted the confidence of foreign investors in China," said ministry spokesman Shen Danyang.

Separately, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said yesterday that China aimed for growth of about 9.5 per cent in industrial output this year, slightly down from 9.7 per cent in 2013.

The investment number added to unexpectedly strong trade data for last month that revealed a double-digit percentage rise in exports and imports.

But analysts are worried if the momentum can be maintained amid weak external demand and industrial overcapacity.