BEIJING — China’s National Bureau of Statistics was set Friday to release economic data for August, a day after a surprise rate cut to aid its faltering economy.
Retail sales were expected to have risen by 3% in August from a year ago, according to a Reuters’ poll of analysts.
Industrial production was forecast to have increased by 3.9% in August from a year ago, according to the Reuters poll.
Fixed asset investment from January to August was forecast to have increased by 3.3% from a year ago, the Reuters poll showed.
China’s economic rebound from the pandemic has slowed since the second quarter, dragged down by a real estate slump. Exports, another key driver of China’s economy, have also dropped as global demand for Chinese goods wanes.
More rate cuts
The People’s Bank of China said late Thursday that it was cutting the amount of cash that banks need to have on hand by 25 basis points, effective Friday. It was the second reserve requirement ratio cut this year since one in March.
In the last several weeks, Beijing has announced a slew of measures to support the real estate market and consumption.
Monetary policy has remained relatively loose compared with aggressive rate hikes in the U.S. and Europe.
Also effective Friday is a reduction in the foreign exchange reserve requirement ratio for financial institutions to 4%, from 6%. The planned cut was announced two weeks ago.
The central bank has also trimmed other benchmark rates, such as the one-year loan prime rate.
China’s slowing economic growth
Moody’s on Thursday downgraded its outlook on China’s property sector to negative from stable. The firm expects sales to fall by around 5% over the next six to 12 months.
While the Chinese government has recently strengthened policy support for the property sector, we expect the impact on property sales to be short-lived and differentiated between tiers of cities,” Cedric Lai, vice president and senior analyst at Moody’s, said in a release.
Uncertainty about future income has kept consumer spending relatively muted.
The National Bureau of Statistics last month stopped reporting the unemployment rate for young people ages 16 to 24. The bureau said it was reassessing its methodology, and would resume releases at an unspecified date.
China’s consumer price index rose by 0.1% year-on-year in August, reversing a decline in July. Core CPI, which excludes food and energy prices, increased by the same 0.8% year-on-year pace during both months.