China's FAI, industrial output and retail sales post slower growth in October

Expansion misses market expectations in a signal that economic growth is set to ease in Q4

The growth of China’s industrial output, retail sales and fixed-asset investment slowed in October and missed market expectations, signaling that economic growth is expected to ease in the fourth quarter.

Value-added industrial output, an important contribution to gross domestic product, grew 6.2 percent year on year last month, 0.6 percentage points slower than in September, the National Bureau of Statistics said today.

The growth also missed market expectations of 6.3 percent but was faster than the 6.1 percent increase in October last year.

Retail sales jumped 10 percent, 0.3 percentage points slower than September and 0.4 percentage points slower than expected.

Both industrial output and retail sales growth were the second lowest this year.

Fixed-asset investment rose 7.3 percent year on year in the first 10 months of the year, the slowest rise since 1999. The market had expected growth of 7.4 percent.

Investment by the private sector, which accounted for more than 60 percent of total FAI, rose 5.4 percent year on year.

Bureau spokeswoman Liu Aihua said production and demand were balanced, more jobs have been created, prices were generally stable, and the quality of economic growth has improved with better profitability for both industrial and services companies.

Industrial output in advanced manufacturing and modern services sectors rose 13.4 percent, more than twice the overall level.

More than 11.9 million new jobs were created in the first 10 months, already exceeding the annual official target of 11 million.

Liu said China has a sound foundation to exceed the official annual GDP growth target of 6.5 percent.

Julia Wang, China economist of HSBC, said activity data were slightly weaker than expected, confirming a slower fourth quarter amid continued tightening polices.

“As the winter season production cap kicks in and environmental regulations are further strengthened, we think growth momentum will soften further,” Wang said. “The silver lining is that the upgrading process of the manufacturing sector continues.”

Wang said the fourth quarter GDP growth is expected to slip to 6.6 percent, down from 6.8 percent in the third quarter.

Earlier economic indicators for October showed expansion eased in the manufacturing sector as the official Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 51.6 from September’s year high of 52.4.

Money supply expanded at the slowest pace on record under tight financial regulations to prevent risks, while growth of exports and imports both slowed slightly to indicate an uncertain outlook next year.

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