China’s May industrial output up 3.5%, retail sales jump 12.7%, as recovery continues
Published: Jun 15, 2023 10:01 AM
Photo: CFP

Photo: CFP

China's value-added industrial output increased by 3.5 percent year-on-year in May, while retail sales expanded by 12.7 percent year-on-year, according to official data released on Thursday, offering more signs that China's economic recovery remains on track, despite persistent downward pressure. 

The world's second-largest economy will remain on a solid recovery trend in the second half of the year, as the effect of supportive policies will further translate into economic activities and more follow-up stimulus measures are expected, experts noted. 

Value-added industrial output of major industrial enterprises in China rose by 3.5 percent year-on-year in May, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Thursday. That compared with a 5.6 percent year-on-year growth in April. In the first five months of 2023, value-added industrial output grew 3.6 percent year-on-year. 

In particular, the output of high-tech industries continued to rise sharply. For example, the equipment manufacturing industry saw values rise by 8.0 percent.

Retail sales, another crucial economic indicator, also saw solid growth. Total retail sales expanded 12.7 percent in May from a year prior, according to the NBS. In April, retail sales grew 18.4 percent year-on-year. In the first five months of 2023, China's retail sales jumped 9.3 percent year-on-year according to the NBS. 

Multiple consumer sectors ranging from communications equipment consumption to sports and entertainment spending contributed to the surge in consumption. 

At a press conference on Thursday morning, Fu Linghui, a spokesperson for the NBS, said that the country's economic performance continued to drive the recovery in May as the policy of stabilizing growth, employment and prices continued to take effect.

The data reflected positive sentiment in consumer spending and optimism from enterprises about prospects of the economic recovery, Zhou Maohua, a macro economist from China Everbright Bank, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Experts said that over coming months, the steady economic recovery will be further supported by many favorable factors, including policy support, which would fuel a robust economic recovery in the second half of the year.

Tian Yun, a veteran macro economy observer, told the Global Times on Thursday that there are more positive signs in supporting China's economic recovery since the beginning of June, pointing to recent moves by the country's central bank. 

On Tuesday, the People's Bank of China cut its seven-day reverse repo rate by 10 basis points to 1.90 percent, releasing 2 billion yuan ($279.97 million) in liquidity, the first time in 10 months. A flurry of possible stimulus measures could be announced in the near future as the government is resolved to stabilize market expectations about the economic rebound, experts said.

Also, Tian said that Chinese authorities may move to boost housing sales, unveil stronger policies to boost the construction of a unified national market and expand fiscal spending in June. He predicted a GDP growth of more than 6 percent in the second quarter and accelerated growth speed in the third and fourth quarters.

China has set a growth target of around 5 percent this year, according to this year's Government Work Report. China's economy rose by 4.5 percent in the first quarter.

The World Bank said in its latest global economic outlook report that led by a rebound in consumer demand, China's GDP is expected to grow by 5.6 percent in 2023. Investment in infrastructure and manufacturing is expected to remain resilient.

Fixed-asset investment in the first five months grew 4.0 percent, as the construction of major projects accelerated, and investment in infrastructure grew steadily.

Global Times