China Oct factory output growth slows, retail sales miss expectations

Sergio Conner
November 14, 2017

One of the main pieces of the data provided was the stellar industrial output which increased by 6.2% from a year ago.

Industrial production grew 6.2% year-on-year in October, compared to a 6.6% increase in September, according to China's National Bureau of Statistics.

Retail sales gained 10% in October on-year, slower than the expected 10.4% rise.

China's economy slowed further in October with economists eyeing scope for further cooling ahead.

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Chinese industrial enterprises reported total profit of 5.58 trillion yuan ($840 billion) in the first nine months of the year, up by 22.8 percent year-on-year. That has supported the world economy as the Asian giant has continued to hoover up commodities and consumer goods, helping to stoke underlying global demand for cars and smartphones to TVs and industrial products.

Retail sales, which includes spending by households, government departments and businesses, rose 10% in October, the lowest rate since 9.5% in the January-February period and missing analysts' median projection of a jump of 10.5%.

"Generally speaking, the national economy maintained stable performance with improved quality and sound momentum", NBS spokeswoman Liu Aihua told reporters. The figures were relatively close to the forecasted figure which was at 6.3% and it is keeping track of the country's residual growth plan. "However, these drags continue to be partly offset by still strong infrastructure spending".

Factories also closed during last month's Communist Party congress, during which President Xi Jinping called for more efforts to protect the environment. Most China observers say Beijing would not risk a sharp slowdown in growth through its debt and pollution clampdown given a major focus on creating jobs. This distortion is becoming larger with the rapid growth of online sales - Alibaba's single day sales reached Rmb168 bn this year, up 39.4% from last year. "There's still some caution (on the economy), but we're certainly not pessimistic".

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