China April industrial output rises 5.6%, retail sales jump 18.4%

China's value-added industrial output, an important economic indicator, went up 5.6 percent year on year in April, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed Tuesday.

The growth rate was 1.7 percentage points higher than that of March, the bureau said.

China's retail sales of consumer goods, a major indicator of the country's consumption strength, surged 18.4 percent year on year in April, data from NBS showed Tuesday.

In the January-April period, the country's retail sales of consumer goods increased 8.5 percent year on year, according to the NBS.

The data echo the statement that China's economy and society have resumed normal operation in a comprehensive manner, with the triple pressures of demand contraction, supply shock and expected weakening having all been alleviated, according to the report on the implementation of China's monetary policy in the first quarter of 2023, released by People's Bank of China on Monday.

China will continue to deliver strong year-on-year growth in activity data in the second quarter of 2023 on the back of a low base, but at a slower quarter-on-quarter pace than the first quarter of 2023 as the recovery loses steam. Consumption momentum could be moderate after the initial burst of pent-up demand, while the winding down of fiscal stimulus will impart a downward pressure. Policy priorities should stay focused on promoting employment, consumer spending and private investment, boosting household expectation and business confidence with more visibility and stability, Bruce Pang, chief economist and head of research in Greater China at JLL, told CGTN.

To further expand domestic demand, China should give priority to restoring and expanding consumption, increasing investment in consumption, improving distribution pattern, improving supply quality, especially improving the consumption capacity of low-and middle-income residents with strong purchasing power, and increase the contribution rate of final consumption expenditure to GDP growth, he added.

Echoing his point of view, Dong Shaopeng, executive deputy editor-in-chief of the Securities Daily, said from January to April, with the cumulative effect of macro policies appearing, production and supply continued to improve, contact and cluster service industries rebounded, and market vitality was restored.

"It is necessary to further increase comprehensive investment into the field of science and technology, raise basic guarantees for people's livelihood, enlarge the scale of employment and enhance residents' incomes as part of efforts to further stimulate the power of domestic consumption," said Dong.

(With input from Xinhua; cover image via CFP)

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