The report said the production increase has implications for rising demand for important metals that go into the manufacturing the products.
“White goods are important end markets for cold rolled and galvanized steel (and hence for zinc),” Citi said.
“Stainless steel use is also highly skewed towards kitchen applications (and, by implication, nickel and ferrochrome demand),” it added. “Air conditioners are big consumers of copper and a strong pick-up in production should create demand for copper tubes as well.”
The report said that weakness in Chinese consumer spending goes beyond those appliances, but stressed that a series of income tax benefits in place beginning late last year “should be the key catalyst for possible consumption recovery.”
In addition to its gross domestic product, China also announced its latest monthly figures for major economic barometers industrial production and retails sales.
Industrial output gained 8.5% year-on-year in March — easily beating the 5.9% gain estimated in a poll of economists by Reuters, and registering the fastest growth since July 2014.
Retail sales, meanwhile, grew by 8.7% in March year-on-year, beating Reuters’ projection of an 8.4% gain.
And figures for manufacturing activity rose unexpectedly in March, growing at the fastest clip in eight months, a private survey showed.