BEIJING (AFP) – Growth in China’s industrial output and other key indicators slowed in October, government data showed Thursday, signalling further weakness in the world’s second-largest economy.
Industrial production, which measures output at factories, workshops and mines, expanded 7.7 per cent year-on-year last month, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), down from 8.0 per cent in September and below forecasts of 8.0 per cent.
Retail sales, a key indicator of consumer spending, increased 11.5 per cent in October, the NBS said, slowing from September’s 11.6 per cent gain.
And fixed asset investment, a measure of government spending on infrastructure, expanded 15.9 per cent on-year in the first 10 months, compared with the gain of 16.1 per cent over the first nine months.
The data is the latest to show the Chinese economy, a key driver of global expansion, is slowing.
“The figures all came in lower, suggesting the downtrend in the domestic economy continued,” Central China Securities analyst Zhang Gang told AFP.
Nomura economists said the figures came despite further policy easing, suggesting that “headwinds from the property market correction, severe overcapacity in many upstream industries and an over-leveraged corporate sector are very strong”.
They added: “The efficacy of policy easing may have lessened”.
The median forecasts in surveys of 11 economists by the Wall Street Journal had been for retail sales to rise 11.6 percent and fixed asset investment to increase 16.0 percent.
The economy expanded 7.3 per cent in the July-September quarter, lower than the 7.5 per cent in the previous three months and the slowest since 2009 at the height of the global financial crisis.
On Monday the NBS said inflation was unchanged at a near five-year low of 1.6 per cent in October, and analysts warned of deflationary risks.
Thursday’s results also come after mixed readings earlier this month on China’s manufacturing sector.