China’s Economic Recovery Continues To Run Hot & Cold

By Glenn Dyer | More Articles by Glenn Dyer

Mixed news about the strength of China’s economic recovery on Friday which do not support the idea that the economy is recovering strongly.

The final round of data on production, retail sales, and urban investment showed growth cooled slightly in July.

The start of month measures on manufacturing and services suggested growth was strengthening, perhaps a bit stronger than previously thought.

Exports also surprised and some imports of key industrial commodities like oil, iron ore, and copper hit record or near-record levels in July.

Friday saw industrial production rise 4.8% in July from a year earlier, on par with the increase in June, the National Bureau of Statistics said. Economists had seen a 5% rise

Fixed-asset investment dropped 1.6% in the first seven months from a year ago, narrowing from a 3.1% decline in the first half of the year and better than the 1.8% drop forecast by economists.

Property investment in July grew at the fastest rate since April last year, underpinned by solid construction activity and easier lending. New home prices rose at a slightly slower pace in July from a month earlier.

Retail sales fell by 1.1% in July. That compared with a 1.8% drop in June and missed forecasts that it would stay flat.

In fact, rales fell for the seventh straight month in July as consumer demand remained sluggish despite strict coronavirus containment measures easing.

The decline in retail sales was broad-based with garments, cosmetics, home appliances, and furniture all falling from June.

A key exception was car sales, which jumped 12.3%, rebounding from an 8.2% fall in June.

Glenn Dyer

About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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