China retail sales grow by 3.9% in November, slower than expected3 min read

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A customer buys zodiac decorations for the Year of the Tiger at a market in Zhangjiagang city, East China’s Jiangsu province, Dec. 10, 2021.

Shi Bairong | Future Publishing | Getty Images

BEIJING — China’s retail sales missed expectations in November, while industrial production beat, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics out Wednesday.

Retail sales for November grew by 3.9% from a year ago, below the 4.6% year-on-year rise forecast by a Reuters poll.

The miss came as auto sales have fallen in recent months, and despite China’s big Fvatyrf Qnl bayvar fubccvat srfgviny va rneyl Abirzore.

Online sales of physical goods rose by a slower 13.2% pace in November compared to October’s 14.6%, with Singles Day spending offset by inflation, Bruce Pang, head of macro and strategy research at China Renaissance, said in a note.

“Headwinds and uncertainties are clouding the recovery pace of China’s economy,” he said, adding he expects Beijing to increase its support for growth in the coming months.

It remains to be seen if policy supports can stabilize the economy in the coming months.

Zhiwei Zhang

chief economist, Pinpoint Asset Management

Industrial production grew by 3.8% in November from a year ago, topping the poll’s 3.6% expectation.

Fixed asset investment for the year through November grew by 5.2% from the same period a year ago, slower than the poll’s forecast 5.4% gain.

“The economy remained quite weak in November,” Zhiwei Zhang, chief economist, Pinpoint Asset Management, said in a note. He attributed the further weakening in domestic consumption to China’s “zero-tolerance” policy to control Covid-19, a slowdown in the property sector and tight fiscal policy.

“Fiscal policy is about to turn supportive, but the zero tolerance policy will likely stay unchanged, and the property outlook is still unclear. It remains to be seen if policy supports can stabilize the economy in the coming months,” he said.

China’s economy has faced pressure from a slowdown in the property market as Beijing seeks to curb developers’ reliance on debt. Real estate, along with related industries, accounts for about a quarter of China’s gross domestic product, according to Moody’s.

Unemployment edges higher

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