A flurry of Chinese economic data released on Wednesday came in worse than expected, somewhat justifying Beijing's decision to inject aggressive doses of stimulus in recent months and raising expectations of more to come.
Retail sales grew 10.7 percent in the January-February period from the year earlier, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, lower than expectations for an 11.7 percent increase.
Meanwhile, industrial output rose an annual 6.8 percent in the period, also missing the 7.8 percent forecast.
Fixed-asset investment, a crucial driver of the Chinese economy, rose 13.9 percent in January and February from a year ago, also under estimates for a 15 percent gain.
China combines its January and February data releases for investment, retail sales and factory output to minimize distortions from the Lunar New Year holiday.
The data followed a mixed bag of inflation readings on Tuesday, which showed consumer inflation for February beating forecasts, but wholesale inflation stuck in deflation for nearly three years.