World

China’s retail, industrial output slow down

BEIJING: China yesterday reported surprisingly weaker growth in retail sales and industrial output for last month, adding pressure on Beijing to roll out more stimulus as the trade war with the United States escalates.

Clothing sales fell for the first time since 2009, suggesting Chinese consumers were growing more worried about the economy.

Overall retail sales rose 7.2 per cent last month from a year earlier, the slowest pace since May 2003, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed. That undershot March's 8.7 per cent and forecasts of 8.6 per cent.

Growth in industrial output slowed more than expected to 5.4 per cent last month on-year, pulling back from a 4½-year high of 8.5 per cent in March.

Weighing on industrial output, motor vehicle production dropped nearly 16 per cent. Earlier this week, industry data showed automobile sales in China fell 14.6 per cent last month, the 10th consecutive month of decline. - REUTERS

BUSINESS & FINANCE