China's Factory Output Posts First Increase For 2020 But Consumption Still Weak

China's Factory Output Posts First Increase For 2020 But Consumption Still Weak”

Industrial production climbed 3.9% in April from a year earlier, data showed on Friday, following a 1.1% fall in March. The production of oil, coal, metals and electricity all increased as plants restarted operations last month.

However, China continues to face major challenges in its services sector, particularly retail, and as the pandemic sweeps the rest of the globe, affecting other major economies and trading partners. The central bank has pledged to step up policy measures to support the economy, although it still cautioned against property bubble risks.

The National Bureau of Statistics said China's economy was recovering but still faced many challenges as the virus spread globally. Earlier this week, data showed producer prices falling at their sharpest pace in four years, as industrial demand weakened.

Many Chinese factories are grappling with slashed or canceled overseas orders after reopening as global demand has remained tepid.

While the country's exports saw an unexpected rebound in April, driven in part by demand for medical supplies, imports saw a sharper-than-expected dive, signaling weak domestic demand.

China's surveyed unemployment rate for last month was 6 percent, slightly higher than the previous month.

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The government has been struggling to reverse a doubling of pork prices over the past year, brought on by an outbreak of African swine fever, leading to months of CPI readings above the 3-percent annual target rate for 2019.

New yuan loans hit 1.7 trillion yuan (about 240 billion US dollars) in April, a year-on-year rise of 681.8 billion yuan, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) said.

Investment in fixed assets nationwide (excluding rural households) dropped 10.3% in the first four months from the same period last year; the year-on-year decline was 16.1% over the first three months of this year.

Funds raised by China's property developers fell 10.4% in January-April, but they were better than a 13.8% drop for the first three months of the year.

The investment in residential buildings went down 2.8 percent year on year to 2.42 trillion yuan in January-April, 4.4 percentage points lower than the decline in the first quarter. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

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