China's industrial output grew only 3.8 percent in the first two months from the same period a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics reported on Thursday.
During the same period, the nation's retail sales expanded 15.2 percent to 2.01 trillion yuan ($294 billion). The growth rate is much lower than in 2008, when it rose 21.6 percent from the previous year.
The nation's industrial output grew a much stronger 11 percent in February from a year earlier, but that's partly due to the fact that this year's Spring Festival fell in January, leaving more working days for February
The first two months' figures show the global downturn continues to impact China's industrial activity, but the stronger industrial output figures in February represent an improving trend, said Jing Ulrich, managing director and chairman of JP Morgan's China Equities.