Retail Sales and Industrial Production Show Improvement
In October, China witnessed improvements in both consumption and industrial production, indicating a slight softening of growth momentum, despite the continued policy support implemented by Beijing.
Retail Sales on the Rise
Retail sales, a key indicator of domestic consumption, experienced a notable increase of 7.6% compared to the previous year. This growth is particularly significant considering that China was still grappling with strict Covid-19 lockdowns during the same period last year, resulting in a contraction in consumer spending. Contributing to the boost in retail sales were the low base effect from the previous year and the eight-day Golden Week holiday. October's retail sales growth of 7.6% surpassed economists' expectations of 7.0% and outpaced the 5.5% growth recorded in September. However, it is worth noting that retail sales only expanded by 0.07% compared to the previous month (September).
Positive Growth in Industrial Production
Industrial production also displayed positive growth, with a slight uptick from September's figures. In October, industrial production experienced a growth rate of 4.6%, marginally higher than the previous month's 4.5%. This result exceeded economists' predictions of a 4.3% increase, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.
Cooling Investment Trends
While retail sales and industrial production demonstrated signs of improvement, investment showed a cooling trend. Fixed-asset investment increased by 2.9% during the January to October period, compared to a 3.1% rise during the first three quarters of the year. Economists had initially anticipated a 3.1% growth rate for fixed-asset investment on a yearly basis.
Stable Unemployment Rate
China's urban surveyed unemployment rate remained steady at 5.0% in October, which aligns with the rate recorded in September.
In conclusion, China's economy experienced mixed performance in October. While retail sales and industrial production displayed positive growth, investment showed signs of cooling. The stable unemployment rate adds a further dimension to the overall economic outlook.