Chinese Industrial Production, Retail Sales Miss October Estimates By

© Reuters.

By Ambar Warrick– China’s industrial production rose less than expected in October, while retail sales unexpectedly fell amid renewed disruptions from anti-COVID measures, heralding further weakness in the world’s second-largest economy .

The Chinese rose 5% in October, data showed on Tuesday, missing expectations of 5.2% and much slower than September’s reading of 6.3%.

The low reading comes as the country introduced new restrictions in several major industrial hubs, including the financial capital Shanghai, to combat a resurgence in COVID-19 cases. Several factories were closed or operated at limited capacity, while citizens faced strict movement restrictions.

Data also follows earlier which showed Chinese business activity declined in October.

While the government recently eased some quarantine and movement restrictions as part of its strict zero COVID policy, the new outbreak likely indicates that officials will be reluctant to abandon the policy entirely.

The zero-COVID policy is at the heart of Beijing’s economic woes this year, as a series of tough anti-COVID lockdowns crippled economic activity.

Business confidence has also been badly shaken this year, with companies now more reluctant about their capital spending. Tuesday’s data showed Chinese growth was slightly below expectations of 5.8% in October.

On the consumer side, fell 0.5% in October, missing estimates of 1% growth and tumbling from last month’s reading of 2.5%. COVID-related disruptions, a crash in the housing market and deteriorating sentiment have also caused consumers to tighten their pockets.

That of China remained stable at 5.5%.

Tuesday’s dismal data indicates that a brief recovery in China’s economy, after some COVID restrictions were lifted in June and July, appears to be running out of steam. Renewed COVID lockdowns are likely to cause more short-term economic turbulence.

The 0.3% rise after the data as the People’s Bank of China also kept interest rates unchanged on Tuesday.

Sallie R. Loera