A McDonald’s delivery worker walks past pig statues outside an art museum in Beijing on July 10, 2021.
Jade Gao | AFP | Getty Images
BEIJING – China reported GDP growth slightly below expectations in the second quarter, while retail sales and industrial production grew faster than forecast.
The country’s gross domestic product rose 7.9% year over year in the second quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday. That fell short of the Reuters estimate of 8.1% for the period April to June.
GDP grew 18.3% in the first quarter after shrinking a year ago. That was an increase of 0.6% compared to the last quarter of 2020.
Retail sales rose 12.1% year over year in June, more than Reuters’ forecast 11%.
Industrial production grew 8.3%, more than the 7.8% Reuters estimate.
Retail sales growth lagged that of the economy as a whole and fell short of analysts’ expectations for the first two months of the second quarter.
In the past three months, the Chinese authorities have also announced support for companies hit by the rise in commodity prices.
A reduction in the minimum reserve ratio (RRR), the amount of funds banks must hold in reserve, should come into effect on Thursday. The first notice from authorities of such a cut surprised investors last week and signaled concerns about slower growth.
The cut is expected to free about 1 trillion yuan (or $ 154 billion) into the economy.
Meanwhile, China’s customs authority said earlier this week that June exports rose by more than expected 32.2%.
The urban unemployment rate remained constant at 5% in June, while the unemployment rate among younger 16 to 24 year olds rose to 15.4%.
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– CNBC’s Yen Nee Lee contributed to this report.