China’s retail sales slower than expected in August

China's retail sales slower than expected in August

People walk in front of Taiku Lee Sanlitun Mall in Sanlitun Shopping District on August 31, 2021.

Artiom Ivanov | TASS | Getty Images

BEIJING – China’s retail sales grew disappointingly 2.5% in August from a year earlier, as the country faces the worst outbreak of Covid-19 since its initial spread in early 2020.

Data on consumer spending released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday is well below the 7% growth forecast from analysts polled by Reuters.

Industrial production growth was also slightly lower than expected, rising 5.3% from 5.8% expected in August.

Data shows that real estate investments for the first eight months of the year increased by 8.9% compared to the previous year.

Mainland China brought the outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant under control in late July in mid-August. As part of Beijing’s “zero tolerance” policy, authorities have imposed travel restrictions and local blockades inside the country during much of the summer vacation.

Last month’s numbers also set a higher baseline comparison compared to the first half of the year, as China was already largely out of the peak of the coronavirus pandemic last summer.

The unemployment rate in cities remained unchanged from July to August at 5.1%, while it edged down to 15.3% for 16 to 24 year olds.

This is last minute news. Please check for updates.

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