China retail sales and industrial output weaken in April

Business | 15 May 2019 11:30 am

China reported urprisingly weaker growth in industrial output and retail sales for April, reinforcing expectations that Beijing needs to roll out more stimulus measures as the trade war with the United States escalates. 

Growth in industrial output slowed more than expected to 5.4 percent in April from a year earlier, pulling back from a surprising strong 4-1/2 year high of 8.5 percent in March, which some analysts had suspected was boosted by seasonal and temporary factors.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast output would grow 6.5 percent for the month.

China’s exports unexpectedly shrank in April in the face of U.S. tariffs and weaker global demand, while factory surveys suggest new export orders remain sluggish.

Retail sales were also worse than expected, with the headline number rising by 7.2 percent, the slowest pace since May 2003, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.

That compared with March’s 8.7 percent and forecasts of 8.6 percent, highlighting concerns that consumers are growing less confident as the economic slows and the trade war drags on.

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