China’s Economic Recovery Continued but Signals Mixed in October

China’s economic recovery continued last month, though signals were mixed as the latest consumption indicator was weaker than expected even as fixed-asset investment and industrial output activity beat forecasts, official data showed on Monday.

Retail sales rose 4.3% year-on-year in October, accelerating from a 3.3% rise in September, according to data (link in Chinese) from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). But the reading was lower than the median forecast for a 4.9% increase in a Caixin survey (link in Chinese) of economists.

Value-added industrial output, which measures production by factories, mines and utilities, grew 6.9% year-on-year (link in Chinese) in October, the same pace as the previous month. The reading beat the median forecast for a 6.5% rise in the Caixin survey.

Fixed-asset investment, a key driver of domestic demand that includes infrastructure spending, grew 1.8% year-on-year (link in Chinese) in the first 10 months, accelerating from a 0.8% rise in the first three quarters. The rate was better than the median forecast of 1.6% growth in the Caixin survey.

Infrastructure investment, which consists of spending on construction of roads and railways and is generally led by the government, rose 0.7% year-on-year in the first 10 months, up from a 0.2% rise in the first nine months.

Investment in real estate development rose 6.3% year-on-year (link in Chinese) in the first 10 months, accelerating from a 5.6% rise in the January-to-September period.

The labor market also improved as China’s surveyed urban unemployment rate eased to 5.3% in October from 5.4% the previous month, NBS data (link in Chinese) showed. Newly created urban jobs reached nearly 10.1 million in the first 10 months, hitting the annual target of 9 million ahead of schedule.

Contact reporter Guo Yingzhe ([email protected]) and editor Yang Ge ([email protected])

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