12 Aug 2009

Improvement in China's economy

8:25 am on 12 August 2009

China's economy has shown signs of improvement, with the annual growth rates of both industrial output and retail sales rising last month.

Industrial production in July rose 10.8% year-on-year, while retail sales grew at an annual pace of 15.2%.

Despite the improvement, both sets of data were below expectations.

The BBC reports the rise in retail sales suggests that domestic consumption has helped to counter a drop in foreign demand.

A stimulus package worth 4 trillion yuan ($US586 billion) has been introduced to boost domestic demand to fuel a recovery.

The plan has helped to boost China's economy, which grew at an annual rate of 7.9% between April and June, up from 6.1% in the first quarter.

But this was less than the double digit growth seen between 2003 and 2007.

CPI down

Separate data also showed Chinese consumer prices continued to fall in July. The National Bureau of Statistics said the consumer price index dropped 1.8% year-on-year.

The drop was the sixth consecutive month of decline year-on-year. Wholesale prices were 8.2% lower year-on-year.

Trade data showed imports fell 14.9% in July from a year earlier, and exports shed 22.9%.

While exports fell year-on-year, they rose from June and beat expectations, adding $US17.5 billion to reach $US105.4 billion in July.