Chinese industrial production, retail sales and urban fixed asset investment figures were released over the weekend with all bar retail sales disappointing to the downside.
From a year earlier industrial production increased by 6.1%, higher than the 6.0% pace of July but below expectations for an expansion of 6.4%.
Disruptions caused by the massive explosion at the Tianjin port midway through the month, along with factory closures prior to the September 3 Victory Day parade to ensure blue skies for the event, are largely believed to have been responsible for the downside miss.
Elsewhere urban fixed asset investment – essentially urban infrastructure spending – grew by 10.9% in the year to August. The figure was below the 11.2% pace of July and expectations for a deceleration to 11.1% and marked the slowest annual increase in investment since December 2000.
On the other side of the ledger, retail sales topped expectations, increasing by 10.8% from levels of a year earlier. The figure was higher than the 10.5% pace of July, also the level eyed for August.
Whether due to the mixed nature of the report, the fact it portrays what the Chinese government is attempting to implement – greater levels of household consumption to offset weakening industrial activity – or the widely-held belief that most Chinese data is spurious in nature, the market reaction to the news in early Asian trade has been near non-existent this morning.
Clearly this data dump – once a noted market mover – has lost its market potency over recent years.
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