China’s retail sales grow by 3.9% in November — slower than expected

Finance

Workers in front of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) in Beijing, China, on Monday, Dec. 13, 2021.
Andrea Verdelli | Bloomberg | Getty Images

BEIJING — China’s retail sales missed expectations in November, while industrial production beat, the National Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday.

Retail sales for November grew by 3.9% from a year ago, below the 4.6% year-on-year rise forecast by a Reuters poll.

Industrial production grew by 3.8% in November from a year ago, topping the poll’s 3.6% expectation.

Fixed asset investment for the year through November grew by 5.2% from the same period a year ago, slower than the poll’s forecast 5.4% gain.

China’s economy has faced pressure from a slowdown in the property market as Beijing seeks to curb developers’ reliance on debt. Real estate, along with related industries, accounts for about a quarter of China’s gross domestic product, according to Moody’s.

Intermittent travel restrictions to control pockets of Covid cases have also limited tourist and business activity, while consumer spending has been subdued.

Exports have remained a bright spot for China’s economy, and rose 22% in November from a year ago.

Chinese authorities have refrained from pouring out stimulus into the economy, and have taken more reserved actions amid rising inflation and tighter monetary policy in other countries.

However, a People’s Bank of China cut to the reserve requirement ratio for most banks took effect on Wednesday.

The move marked the second such reduction this year for the amount of cash banks need to have on reserve. The 0.5 percentage point cut to a weighted average of 8.4% for financial institutions frees up 1.2 trillion yuan ($187.5 million), according to the central bank.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

— Correction: This article has been updated to remove an inaccurate reference to the historical pace of growth in China’s retail sales.

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