China’s October retail and industrial data miss expectations

Covid cases have soared in China’s capital city of Beijing, where many communities have been recently locked down or under tighter health monitoring as the country maintains its zero-Covid policy.

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BEIJING — Three indicators on China’s economy in October missed expectations and marked a slowdown from September, according to data released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday.

Retail sales fell by 0.5% in October from a year ago — the first decline since May — and industrial production grew by 5%, the data showed.

Analysts polled by Reuters expected retail sales would slow to 1% year-on-year growth in October, and that industrial production would also slow to 5.2% growth.

Fixed asset investment for the first 10 months of the year grew by 5.8%, a touch below expectations for maintaining the same pace as September, with a 5.9% increase year-on-year, according to the Reuters poll.

Investment in real estate declined further in October on a year-to-date basis, while that in manufacturing slowed slightly from September. Investment in infrastructure picked up mildly, to 8.7% year-on-year for 2022 as of October.

The unemployment rate in cities was unchanged from September, at 5.5% in October. That of young people ages 16 to 24 was also unchanged, at 17.9%.

Investors are looking for signs of reopening in China

October’s drop in retail sales dragged down the year-to-date figure to just 0.6% growth. Home appliances, catering and apparel saw some of the greatest sales declines last month from a year ago.

Car sales held up with 3.9% growth. Online sales of physical goods surged by 22% year-on-year in October, to account for more than a quarter of retail sales overall, according to CNBC calculations of the data.

Broad slowdown in October

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