BEIJING - China's fixed asset investment continued to show strong growth in the first quarter of this year on the back of increased investment in the property market, bolstering the economic expansion of the world's fastest-developing nation.
Fixed asset investment rose 25.6 percent year-on-year to 3.53 trillion yuan ($517 billion) in the first quarter of this year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Thursday.
The growth was "relatively fast" despite a decline of 3.2 percentage points from the same period last year, NBS spokesman Li Xiaochao said.
Investment in the country's property market climbed 35.1 percent in the first quarter, 31 percentage points higher than the same period last year.
Li attributed the investment surge in real estate to a low comparison base in the first quarter of last year.
Investment growth in property was also boosted by domestic demand, Li said, citing the figures of a 35.8 percent rise in sales areas of property in the first quarter nationwide.
Urban fixed asset investment climbed 26.4 percent from a year earlier from in the first quarter while that in rural areas increased 21 percent, according to the NBS.
Wang Jian, secretary-general of the China Society of Macroeconomics, expects investment growth in fixed asset for this year will slow to 20 percent to 25 percent year-on-year as spending focuses on projects under construction.
Government-backed investment in fixed assets, which helped offset a slump in exports, worsened overcapacity in industrial sectors, he said.
The government has vowed repeatedly to curb overcapacity and control lending to such sectors.
Li Xiaochao said the government stimulus package that countered the fallout from the global economic downturn has given impetus to the country's economy and social investment.
He expects steady and fast growth in overall investment this year as market-led investment is on the rise as government spending fades.