CNBC reports that China’s retail sales grew a disappointing 2.5% in August from a year ago as the country dealt with the worst outbreak of Covid-19 since its initial spread in early 2020. Economists had expected a 7.0% increase.
Industrial production growth was also slightly below expectations, up 5.3% in August versus predictions of 5.8% growth. Fixed asset investment for the first eight months of the year rose 8.9% from a year ago, the data showed.
Mainland China controlled a late July outbreak of the highly contagious delta variant by mid-August. Under Beijing’s “zero tolerance” policy, authorities had imposed travel restrictions and local lockdowns within the country during a major part of the summer holidays.
National Bureau of Statistics spokesperson Fu Linghui pointed out at a press conference Wednesday that after declining in the wake of the pandemic, retail sales returned to growth in August 2020.
He added in response to a separate question that “some large-scale real estate companies have encountered some difficulties in the process of production and operations, and the impact to the entire industry needs to be observed.”
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