China’s power use rises 9.8 pct in Q1

China’s electricity consumption, a key barometer of economic activity, rose 9.8 percent to 1.6 trillion kilowatt hours in Q1.

In March alone, power use stood at 532 billion kilowatt hours, up 3.6 percent year on year, according to data released by the National Energy Administration(NEA).

Electricity used by the service sector rose 16.7 percent in January-March, followed by a 10.3 percent increase for the agricultural sector and 6.7 percent for the industrial sector. Residential power use was up 17.2 percent, the NEA said.

Earlier data from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) showed electricity from clean energy sources expanded at a rapid pace.

In the January-March period, power production rose 10 percent year on year to 1.6 trillion kilowatt hours, with solar and wind energy increasing by 58.7 percent and 37.9 percent, respectively.

The growth comes as the economy began 2018 on a strong note with better than expected data.

Industrial output expanded at 7.2 percent year on year in the first two months, while the fixed asset investment rose 7.9 percent, according to the NDRC.