Shanghai, China, Dec 15 (EFE).- Industrial production in China grew by 2.2 percent year-on-year in November, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data showed Thursday.
The figure was much lower than analysts estimates, which had forecast a growth of around 3.6 percent.
China’s retail sales, a measure of the state of consumption that is key to economic recovery, also fell 5.9 percent, their worst decline since May, when tough restrictions and long lockdowns such as that of Shanghai, were in place.
This once again shows how the strict “zero Covid” policy adopted by the Chinese government has dampened consumer spending.
“In November, Covid outbreaks spread to most parts of the country, forcing residents to cut travel and stay at home, which hit consumption heavily,” NBS statistician Fu Jiaqi said.
Urban unemployment rate rose 0.2 points to 5.7 percent, slightly exceeding the limit of 5.5 percent that the government had set for this year.
Although China has, in recent weeks, begun to lift restrictions, they were still active throughout November, with strict measures in several parts of the country due to an unprecedented number of infections driven by the omicron variant of the coronavirus.
The impact of the withdrawal of Covid-19 measures on consumption and other indicators remains to be seen in the next statistical reports although some experts suggest that their recovery will take a few months.
Despite the slowdown in various indicators, the NBS said that “the national economy sustained the general momentum of recovery” in November amid “multiple challenges such as the increasingly complicated and severe international environment as well as frequent and wide domestic outbreaks of Covid-19 pandemic.” EFE