August industrial production, retail sales


August was marked by extremely high temperatures in parts of China, leading to temporary power rationing in some regions. Pictured here on August 24, 2022, the central city of Chongqing’s skyline has been partially turned off to conserve energy during the heat wave.

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BEIJING — China on Friday reported data showing a pick-up in August growth from the previous month. The data also exceeded expectations across the board.

Retail sales rose 5.4% in August from a year ago, surpassing Reuters’ forecast of 3.5% growth. On-trade sales rose 8.4% in August from a year ago, while auto and food sales also grew significantly. That helped retail sales for the year through August grow 0.5% from a year ago. Cosmetics and home furnishings were among the few categories that saw sales decline in August from a year ago.

Online sales of physical goods rose 12.8% in August from a year ago, faster than the 10.1% growth in July, according to CNBC calculations of official data.

Industrial production rose 4.2% in August from a year earlier, better than the 3.8% increase estimated according to a Reuters analyst poll.

Fixed asset investment for the first eight months of the year was up 5.8%, ahead of Reuters’ forecast of 5.5%. Investment in the manufacturing sector picked up the most, with 10% more than in the same period a year ago. Infrastructure investment grew at a slower pace than in July, on a year-to-date basis.

Real estate investment for the year continued to decline from August, down 7.4% from the same period last year, compared to a 5.2% decline for the year from July.

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The unemployment rate for young people aged 16 to 24 fell to 18.7% in August. It remained much higher than the overall urban unemployment rate, which stood at 5.3% in August, a slight decrease from the previous month.

“Overall, the national economy has withstood the impact of multiple unexpected factors and supported the momentum of recovery and growth with key indicators showing positive changes,” the National Bureau of Statistics said in a press release. “However, we must be aware that the international environment is still complicated and severe and the foundations for domestic economic recovery are not solid.”

The Chinese economy has remained under pressure, in part due to Covid controls, which notably: In August, tens of thousands of tourists were stranded on the tropical island of Hainan.

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