A multi-speed recovery in China

Chart of the week

The National Bureau of Statistics of China has released its economic data for April. Year-on-year growth for industrial production returned to positive territory at 3.9%, compared with -1.1% in March, as did investment, which came out at 0.8%, compared with -9.3% in March. However, year-on-year, the services index posted -4.5% and retail sales -7.5%, versus -9.1% and -15.8% respectively in March.

Our analysis

These statistics confirm that the pace of China’s economic recovery is uneven. Business appears to be normalising faster in the industrial and property sectors than in the services sector (excluding property).
Demand levels also partially reflect this difference in momentum. The breakdown of retail sales data shows a marked rebound in vehicle purchases and home furnishings, but much slower progress in restaurant spending, the only services component included in retail sales.


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The opinion expressed above is dated 15 May 2020 and is liable to change.


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