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Growth in China’s Retail Sales Slides to Near 16-Year Low

By Liu Jiefei / May 15, 2019 11:09 AM / Economy

Growth in China’s retail sales has slumped to its lowest level since May 2003.

Retail sales, which include spending by governments, businesses and households, increased 7.2% year-on-year in April, down significantly from 8.7% growth in the previous month, according to official data released Wednesday.

Fixed-asset investment — a key driver of domestic demand — grew 6.1% year-on-year in the first four months of this year, down from 6.3% growth in the first quarter, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics. The reading missed the median forecast of a 6.4% increase by a Bloomberg survey of economists.

Government-driven infrastructure investment rose 4.4% year-on-year in the first fourth months of the year, the same as the increase in the first quarter.

Investment in real estate development rose 11.9% year-on-year in the same period, edging up from an 11.8% increase in the first quarter of the year.

Value-added industrial output, which measures production at factories, mines and utilities, increased 5.4% year-on-year last month, down from an 8.5% increase in March but up from 5.3% growth in the first two months of this year.

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