Staff in front of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) in Beijing, China, Monday, December 13, 2021.
Andre Wildley | Bloomberg | Getty Images
BEIJING-The National Bureau of Statistics of China said on Wednesday that China’s retail sales in November were lower than expected, while industrial production exceeded expectations.
Retail sales in November increased by 3.9% year-on-year, which was lower than the 4.6% year-on-year increase in the survey conducted by Reuters.
Industrial production in November increased by 3.8% year-on-year, higher than the 3.6% expected by the survey.
The fixed asset investment for the year ended November increased by 5.2% year-on-year, which was lower than the survey’s forecast of 5.4%.
As Beijing seeks to curb developers’ dependence on debt, the Chinese economy faces pressure from a slowdown in the real estate market. According to Moody’s data, real estate and related industries account for about a quarter of China’s GDP.
Intermittent travel restrictions imposed to control some Covid cases have also restricted tourism and commercial activities, while consumer spending has been suppressed.
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Exports are still the bright spot of China’s economy. In November, exports increased by 22% year-on-year.
In the context of rising inflation and tightening monetary policies in other countries, the Chinese authorities did not inject stimulus measures into the economy, but took more cautious actions.
However, the reduction in the reserve requirement ratio of the People’s Bank of China to most banks took effect on Wednesday.
This marks the second time this year that the amount of cash that banks need to reserve has been reduced. According to the central bank, it lowered the weighted average interest rate of financial institutions by 0.5 percentage point to 8.4%, releasing 1.2 trillion yuan (US$187.5 million).
This is a breaking news story. Please check for updates.
— Correction: This article has been updated to remove inaccurate references to historical records The growth rate of retail sales in China.
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