China industrial production grows in April, retail sales disappoint By– Chinese industrial production grew more than expected in April, indicating that a recovery in the country’s massive manufacturing sector remained on track amid increased government support. 

But signs of weak consumption in the country persisted, as growth in retail sales largely missed expectations in April.

grew 6.7% year-on-year in April, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Friday. The reading was much higher than expectations of 5.5, and accelerated from the 4.5% rise seen in March. 

The stronger production reading came amid persistent support for the manufacturing sector from Beijing, as the government kept up its pace of monetary stimulus and also loosened more restrictions on key sectors such as housing.

But this stimulus did not spill over into consumer spending, which remained weak despite increased liquidity. grew 2.3% y-o-y in April, much lower than expectations of 3.7%, and also slowed from the 3.1% rise seen in March. 

Softening economic conditions over the past year saw Chinese consumers scale back heavily on discretionary spending. This in turn put China in a sustained deflationary trend- one which the country is still struggling to break free from. 

Personal consumption is one of the biggest drivers of the Chinese economy, with a sustained decline in retail spending presenting a weak outlook for the country. 

Other economic readings also presented a mixed outlook for the economy. Chinese grew 4.2% in April, lower than expectations of 4.6% and also weaker than the 4.5% seen in the prior month. This signaled some slowing in capital spending among Chinese businesses.

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Chinese shrank at an accelerated pace in April as a crisis in the property market deepened. 

But China’s unexpectedly recovered to 5.0% from the 5.2% seen in March.

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