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Factory output disappoints, property sector stagnant in China

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Whisky Ventures into China's Baijiu-Dominated Market

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May industrial output in China missed expectations, and a property sector contraction showed little signs of improving despite policy support, putting pressure on Beijing to boost growth.
The Monday data was mostly negative, except for retail sales that topped expectations due to a holiday boost, indicating a slow rebound for the world’s second-largest economy.
NBS data revealed that May industrial output rose 5.6% from a year earlier, down from 6.7% in April and below Reuters analysts’ expectations of 6.0%.

Retail sales, which measure consumption, surged 3.7% in May, up from 2.3% in April and the fastest growth since February. Analysts projected 3.0% growth due to a five-day public holiday earlier in the month.
“May activity data and our high-frequency trackers for the first half of June suggest significant cross-sector divergences remain in the economy: strong exports and manufacturing activity, relatively stable consumption, and still-depressed property activity,” Goldman Sachs wrote in a note.

Fixed asset investment climbed 4.0% in the first five months of 2024, compared to 4.2% expected. It rose 4.2% from January to April.
Manufacturing investment grew 9.6% in the first five months, driven by China’s “quality growth” focus on technological innovation this year.
However, experts warn that escalating trade tensions with the West over China’s overcapacity may hinder Chinese solar and electric vehicle companies.

The first four months of private sector investment were 0.3%, but January–May was 0.1%, indicating weak company confidence. State-sector investment rose 7.1% in the first five months.

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