Fall Of China's Retail Sales And Investment As Sign Of Slowing GDP Growth?
The latest economic indicators of China were weak, which, according to analysts, may indicate a slowdown in economic growth. Fixed asset investment have become the slowest since 1999, and the pace of retail sales has softened to a four-month low. But still, industrial production has grown more than expected.
Although China's official data show that economic growth was extremely robust at 6.8-6.9% last year, economists maintained their forecasts that in the coming months it will begin to lose momentum, even without any trade shocks. The Chinese government said that it will strive to achieve 2018 economic goals and will stimulate domestic demand in April.
The National Bureau of Statistics reported that China's industrial production grew by 7.0% in April from 6.0% in March (the lowest level since the last seven months). Economists predicted 6.3% growth. Fixed-asset investment growth slowed to 7.0% in January-April from a year earlier, versus forecasts of only a slight dip to 7.4%. Private sector investment fell to 8.4%, from 8.9% in the first three months. Growth in infrastructure spending slowed to 12.4% in the first four months.
China's property market is also showing signs of slowdown. Real estate investment grew by 10.2% yoy in April, slowing from a 10.8% rise in March. Property sales by floor area declined by 4.1% in April compared with a 3.2% rise in March. For the first four months of the year, sales grew just 1.3% yoy, down from 3.6% in the first quarter. In the same time, retail sales growth slowed to 9.4% in April, missing forecasts for a gain of 10.0% and was below March's indicator of 10.1%.