China releases industrial output and retail sales update

China releases industrial output and retail sales update

China's National Bureau of Statistics has revealed the extent of the economic impacts of Covid-19 in the first two months of the year, with big drops for manufacturing and retail consumption in particular.

The total value added for industrial enterprises with annual revenue above AUD$4.6 million fell by 13.5 per cent year-on-year, with the decline more pronounced for private companies than for state-owned enterprises.

"In terms of sectors, the value added of mining went down by 6.5 per cent, manufacturing down by 15.7 per cent and the production and supply of electricity, thermal power, gas and water down by 7.1 per cent," the bureau reports.

"An analysis by items and output showed that protective medical equipment and products concerning people's livelihood registered fast growth.

"The production of masks, fermented alcohol grew by 127.5 percent and 15.6 percent respectively, and that for frozen meat and instant noodles grew by 13.5 percent and 11.4 percent respectively."

Strong momentum was seen for high-tech products with steady growth for smart watches, smart bands, semiconductor discrete devices and integrated circuits.

The production of basic raw materials such as cast iron and crude steel was steady as well, while a survey of purchasing managers an 85.6 per cent resumption rate for large and medium-sized businesses.

"Production and business operation are being restored in an orderly manner," the bureau states.

In terms of retail, 5.2 billion yuan (AUD$1.2 billion) worth of consumer goods were sold in January and February, representing a year-on-year decline of 20.5 per cent.

Updated at 5:52pm AEDT on 16 March 2020.

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