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China Industrial Output, Fixed Asset Investment Growth Moderates

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China's industrial production as well as fixed asset investment growth moderated, while growth in retail sales eased sharply in April as the initial boost from the relaxation of coronavirus containment measures in March faded.

Data published by the National Bureau of Statistics, on Monday, showed that industrial production grew 9.8 percent year-on-year in April, slower than the 14.1 percent increase in March but it in line with economists' expectations.

Retail sales climbed 17.7 percent annually, much slower than the 34.2 percent increase seen in March and the economists' forecast of 24.9 percent.

During January to April, fixed asset investment expanded 19.9 percent compared to 25.6 percent in three months to March. Economists were expecting an increase of 19 percent.

Likewise, growth in property investment slowed in January to April period to 21.6 percent from 25.6 percent.

The surveyed unemployment rate fell to 5.1 percent in April from 5.3 percent in the previous month.

Looking ahead, the rebound in consumption should gather pace again in the coming months as the labor market continues to tighten, Julian Evans-Pritchard, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

However, the economist said the current strength of investment spending is unlikely to be sustained for long given the recent withdrawal in policy support and slowdown in credit growth.

Chinese economic data for April all fell short of expectations but this is not a cause for concern yet, Hao Zhou and Marco Wagner, economists at Commerzbank, said. This suggests that economic growth as well as policy support measures are gradually normalizing.

The government targets to achieve above 6 percent economic growth for the whole year of 2021.

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