China’s Power Consumption Declines 12.5% in February on Holiday

China’s power consumption fell 12.5 percent from a year earlier in February as factories shut or slowed operations during the Lunar New Year holiday.

Electricity demand declined to 337.4 billion kilowatt hours last month, the National Energy Administration said on its website today. Power use in the first two months increased 5.5 percent from the same period in 2012 to 789.2 billion kilowatt hours.

The year-on-year comparison of the data is distorted by the Lunar New Year holiday, also known as the Spring Festival, when factories and offices shut as Chinese workers travel back to their hometowns to celebrate with their families. The break stretched from Feb. 9 to Feb. 15 this year, while it ran from Jan. 22 to Jan. 28 in 2012.

“The Spring Festival is the main factor in the big drop in power-use growth last month,” Shi Yan, an analyst at UOB-Kay Hian Ltd. in Shanghai, said by phone. “We expect this year’s electricity consumption to increase 8 percent.”

Secondary industries, which include energy-intensive mining, manufacturing and construction companies, consumed 4.2 percent more electricity in January and February than a year ago, today’s report showed. Power demand by primary industries, which include farming, rose 4.3 percent, according to the NEA. Electricity use by the tertiary sector, including services and logistics, increased 13.8 percent.

Power use will increase by as much as 8.5 percent this year as the economy expands, the China Electricity Council, a group of the nation’s biggest electricity producers, said Feb. 28.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Jing Yang in Shanghai at jyang251@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski at akwiatkowsk2@bloomberg.net

Bloomberg reserves the right to edit or remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.