Retail Sales Unexpectedly Fell In China In June
In June, the situation in the Chinese economy continued to improve due to the manufacturing sector. The volume of industrial production in this month increased by 4.8% on an annual basis after rising by 4.4% in May, according to the state statistical office (SSO) of the PRC. Retail sales unexpectedly declined.
The growth in industrial production coincided with the consensus forecast of experts surveyed by Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal. Analysts polled by Trading Economics, on average, expected an increase of 4.7%%.
Industrial production in China has grown for the third month in a row. In June, growth was the highest since December 2019, helped by the gradual recovery of economic activity in the country after the pandemic.
Production in the processing industry in June increased by 5.1% (in may-by 5.2%) in mining - by 1.7% (1.1%). The output of utilities increased by 5.5% (3.6%). Meanwhile, the agricultural sector saw a 2.4% decline in June.
Since the beginning of 2020, the volume of industrial production has decreased by 1.3%.
Retail sales in June unexpectedly fell by 1.8% year-on-year after falling by 2.8% a month earlier. Experts, on average, expected an increase of 0.3%. The drop in the indicator is marked for the sixth month in a row.
Sales of clothing last month decreased by 0.1% (-0.6% in may), jewelry - by 6.8% (-3.9%), furniture - by 1.4% (-3%). Sales of oil and petroleum products fell by 13% (-14%), cars - by 8.2% (-3.5%).
At the same time, sales of cosmetics jumped by 20.5% (12.9% in May), personal care products - by 16.9% (17.3%), office supplies - by 8.1% (1.9%), household appliances - by 9.8% (4.3%).
In January-June, retail sales fell by 11.4%.
The unemployment rate in China, calculated based on the results of a survey of citizens in major cities, fell to 5.7% in June from May's 5.9%, the GSU reported.
Investment in fixed assets in China in January-June decreased by 3.1% to 18.16 trillion yuan. Analysts' consensus forecast called for a 3.3% decline. For comparison, in January-may, the drop was 6.3%.
The GSU also reported that in the second quarter, China's GDP grew by 3.2% on an annual basis after a historic decline of 6.8% in the previous three months. The recovery was helped by the easing of restrictions imposed in the country to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and several stimulus measures deployed by the Chinese authorities to restore economic activity.