Industry: spectacular upturn in March

According to the preliminary data, industrial production expanded by an unadjusted 12.8% in March on a year-on-year basis. The working day adjusted output also grew at a respectable rate of 9.4%. This hefty year-on-year growth was a combined result of the jump of the seasonally adjusted output in February, and some additional rise – instead of a downward correction – in March. Due to the rocketing growth in March, the first quarter as a whole saw an industrial growth of 7.5%, a promising-looking revival after the near-stagnation in 2016.

Yet, growth is bound to decelerate during the rest of the year. The first quarter was helped by the very low statistical base and the positive working day effect. In the coming quarters, by contrast, year-on-year growth rates will suffer from negative working day effect. As a result, we expect an annual average growth rate of 3-4% in 2017, the outstanding first-quarter growth performance notwithstanding.

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