Industrial output rose 5.3 percent in January-February, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said, less than expected and the slowest pace since early 2002.
In the first two months of 2019 the Chinese economy has slowed down again, and industrial outout has fallen to a 10 year low.
After deducting price factors, the indicator grew 7.1 percent in real terms, accelerating from December's 6.6-percent rise, NBS spokesperson Mao Shengyong said at a press conference. Most analysts believe activity may not convincingly stabilise until the middle of the year.
China's economic growth cooled to 6.6 percent past year, the slowest in almost three decades, and it is expected to lose more momentum in the next few months.
In January and February vehicle sales continued to fall and manufacturing activity sunk.
Data last week showed exports tumbled the most in three years in February, suggesting US tariffs on Chinese goods and cooling global demand were taking a greater toll.
Total steel output for the two months reached 149.58 million tonnes, up 9.2 percent from a year earlier, the official data showed.
Pressured by weak demand at home and overseas, China's industrial output rose 5.3 percent in January-February, less than expected and the slowest pace since early 2002.
An official factory survey showed manufacturing output contracted in February for the first time since January 2009, while factory-gate inflation in February hovered at multi-year lows, pointing to further pressure on industrial profits.
But fixed-asset investment rose 6.1 percent, while retail sales rose 8.2 percent, both more than expected. The statistical agency did not provide monthly breakdowns because of the week-long Lunar New Year holiday that fell in early February.
However, retail sales remain near a 15-year low, said Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics in a note, adding that "the near-term outlook still looks downbeat".
Data on Thursday showed China's property investment quickened in the January-February period driven by strong demand in smaller cities. China's exports to all of its major markets fell across the board last month. This year's GDP growth target was set between 6 and 6.5 percent, according to the Government Work Report. Infrastructure spending ticked up 4.3% in January and February, from 3.8% the same time previous year.