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China's Industrial Output Growth Improves Less Than Expected

chinaflag aug14 15jun20 lt

China's industrial production grew at a weaker than expected pace and retail sales decreased at a slower rate suggesting a slow recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed that industrial production grew 4.4 percent on a yearly basis in May, faster than the 3.9 percent increase logged in April but slower than economists' forecast of 5 percent rise.

Retail sales dropped at a slower pace of 2.8 percent in May from last year, slower than the 7.5 percent decrease seen in April. However, the decline was faster than the expected fall of 2 percent.

During January to May, fixed asset investment decreased 6.3 percent from the same period of last year after easing 10.3 percent in January to April period. Economists had forecast a 5.9 percent fall.

The surveyed unemployment rate dropped marginally to 5.9 percent in May from 6 percent a month ago.

The statistical office said the overseas epidemic situation and global economic conditions have become more severe and complicated, and the stable operation of the domestic economy still faces many risks and challenges.

The economy is recovering, albeit slowly, Iris Pang, an ING economist said. However, the economist forecasts the economy to shrink 3.1 percent in the second quarter and 1.5 percent fall in the whole year of 2020, unchanged from the previous projections.

Pang said unstable job market and healthcare concerns are the main factors slowing down the recovery.

Further, data showed that house prices increased 0.7 percent in the first tier cities in May. Prices in second-tier cities were up 0.6 percent and rose 0.7 percent in third-tier cities.

The People's Bank of China injected CNY 200 billion funds into the financial system via medium-term lending facility at a rate of 2.95 percent, unchanged from the previous operation.

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