A fresh batch of Chinese economic data came out last night, and it was mostly nothing to write home about.
Via SocGen, the big numbers were:
- Industrial production grew by 9.3% in April, just missing estimates of 9.4%.
- Fixed Asset Investment growth decelerated to 20.1% from 20.7% in the previous month.
- Retail sales growth grew 12.8%, right in line with expectations.
Within retail sales, there was one blistering number.
…the best performing segment was jewellery sales, which had more to do with savings rather than consumption. Following a sharp decline in the gold price, Chinese households’ purchase of jewellery surged 72% yoy in April, substantially faster than the 17.7% yoy in Q1. This gold rush contributed nearly 2ppt to the headline in April, up from about 1ppt in March.
As SocGen’s own Kit Juckes notes in an email: “(apparently, buying jewellery is a sign of saving, not consumption).”
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