China’s industrial production rebounded and the decline in retail sales slowed in April, suggesting that the economy is recovering slowly as coronavirus, or Covid-19, subsides.
Industrial production grew 3.9 percent in April from the last year, reversing a 1.1 percent fall in March, data published by the National Bureau of Statistics showed Friday. Economists had forecast a moderate 1.5 percent growth.
Retail sales fell 7.5 percent on a yearly basis, slower than the 15.8 percent increase seen in March. However, this was bigger than the expected drop of 7 percent. Fixed asset investment declined 10.3 percent in January to April period after falling 16.1 percent in January to March. Investment was forecast to decrease 10 percent.
The urban jobless rate advanced to 6 percent in April from 5.9 percent in March.
China’s economic operation is gradually recovering towards normalization, the statistical office said. Nonetheless, the economy still faces many challenges due to the global spreading of covid-19.
China’s industrial production, retail sales and fixed asset investment growth only show a slow recovery, an ING economist Iris Pang, said.
With very high unemployment around the world, weak external demand will continue to put pressure on China’s manufacturing and export sectors, and therefore jobs, the economist noted.
The economy had contracted 6.8 percent in the first quarter, which was the first fall at least since 1992. The International Monetary Fund forecast China to grow a moderate 1.2 percent this year.