China’s economy remains stable despite environmental uncertainty

China’s industrial output grew by 4.8 percent year-on-year in July, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed Wednesday.

The growth rate was 1.5 percentage points lower compared with June. The high-tech manufacturing sector expanded by 6.6 percent in July year-on-year, faster that the overall industrial growth rate, according to the NBS.

Total retail sales of consumer goods rose 7.6 percent year-on-year to 3.3 trillion yuan ($471 billion) in July, down by 2.2 percentage points from the previous month.

Speaking at a news conference, NBS spokeswoman Liu Aihua said that the Chinese economy continued to perform within a reasonable range in July, but is facing growing downward pressure given the complicated and uncertain external environment.

The weaker growth of retail sales was largely driven by slower sales of automobiles in July. But sales in other sectors such as restaurant and entertainment continued to see faster growth in July, according to Liu.

Meanwhile, the index of service production grew by 6.3 percent year-on-year in July. Software and information technology services continued to outperform in the overall sector, expanding by 17.2 percent year-on-year in July, according to the NBS.

Fixed-asset investment grew by 5.7 percent year-on-year in the first seven months of 2019, down by 0.1 percentage points from the January to June period.

Wednesday’s data also showed that employment in China remained stable. Surveyed unemployment rate in urban areas stood at 5.3 percent in July, up by 0.2 percentage points from June, according to the NBS.

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