China announced retail sales growth for the first two months of the year on Wednesday, but it was barely in line with predictions, and real estate investment decreased even more.
During the months of January and February, industrial production increased by 2.4% rather than the 2.6% predicted by a Reuters poll.
The statistics show “stable rather than accelerating momentum, which also shows robust policy support is needed to unleash the economic potential,” according to Zhou Hao of Guotai Junan.
The 3.5% increase in retail sales was in line with forecasts. The majority of retail categories witnessed an increase in sales, although sales of expensive goods like cars and home appliances fell. Throughout the first two months of the year, compared to a year ago, online retail sales of tangible goods increased by 5.3%.
Other Investment Categories in China:
Investment in fixed assets increased by 5.5%, exceeding forecasts of 4.4% growth.
But among those investments, real estate investment decreased in January and February of this year by 5.7%. This comes after a 10% decrease in real estate investment for the entire previous year. In comparison to 2022, the growth of investment in industry and infrastructure was slower in the first two months of 2019.
Unemployment Rates remain high:
According to the statistics agency, urban unemployment increased 0.1 percentage points from January to 5.6% in February. The report showed that the 18.1% unemployment rate for young people aged 16 to 24 remained continuously high.
According to Fu Linghui, spokesperson for the statistics bureau and head of the Department of Comprehensive Statistics of the National Economy, “because to the impact of the pandemic, China’s economic development has averaged 4.5% for each of the last three years, and pressure on employment is very high.
According to Beijing-based BigOne Lab, an alternative data firm with investors including S&P Global, the total number of jobs listed on key recruitment platforms in China for the first two months of the year decreased by 23% compared to the same period in 2022.
Postings somewhat increased after the Lunar New Year vacation, according to the data.
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