The latest IPI data shows production growth bouncing back (log annual and monthly changes; seasonally adjusted; 2000=100):
Based on the growth numbers alone, it appears that February’s poor growth numbers could be put down purely to the CNY effect.
Unfortunately, looking beyond growth to the output levels is quite depressing (index numbers; 2000=100):
After a brief fillip in 2012, manufacturing is back to the same output levels as in 2011, which if you remember, was when the whole European debt imbroglio really blew up. About the only positive takeaway from the March IPI data is that electricity output has bounced back in both growth and levels, which points to continuing domestic demand growth.
For 1Q2013, the IPI-based forecast comes out a little better than last month (log annual changes):
Last month’s forecast of 3.3% is now upgraded to 4.4%, which is probably still underestimating real growth in 1Q2013. The weighted average forecast is still at 5.8% (± 1%), but I wouldn’t be surprised if the actual figure was way higher (or way lower) than this. The GDP data for 1Q is due out in 5 days time, so we’ll find out then.
March 2013 Industrial Production report from the Department of Statistics