By Zhang Mengying
Investing.com – China’s economic data indicated signs of an economic rebound in May as industrial production rose surprisingly as COVID-19 curbs eased. However, consumption remained weak amid the persistent drag from stringent curbs.
Official data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released on Wednesday that China’s industrial production i ncreased 0.7% in May year-on-year, which was slightly better than market expectations. A 2.9% decline was recorded in April, while forecasts prepared by Investing.com predicted a drop of 0.7%.
The uptick in the industrial sector was supported by the easing of COVID curbs and strong global demand, with China’s exports growing at a double-digit pace in May, which beat expectations. The positive data showed signs of economic recovery after businesses in the world’s second-largest economy were hit by lockdowns in cities such as Shanghai.
“Overall, our country's economy overcame the adverse impact from COVID (in May) and was showing a recovery momentum,” NBS spokesman Fu Linghui said in a press conference, adding that he expects a further revival in June with policy support.
“However, the international environment is still complex and severe, with greater uncertainties from outside. Our domestic recovery is still in its initial stage with the growth of key indicators at low levels. The foundations for recovery are yet to be consolidated.”
However, consumption remained weak amid COVID-19 concerns. Retail sales fell 6.7% in May year on year, while a drop of 11.1% was recorded in April.
Fixed asset investment rose 6.2% year on year in May while forecasts prepared by Investing.com predicted a growth of 6.0%.
The nationwide survey-based jobless rate fell to 5.9% in May from 6.1% in April, above the government’s 2022 target of below 5.5%.
Although data showed a better-than-expected industrial output, there are still some concerns about the country’s recovery path. Beijing saw clusters of COVID-19 outbreaks, the Beijing authorities warned on Tuesday that the city was in a “race against time”, adding to worries that the potential lockdowns st could hurt its economy and global supply chain.
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