China's retail sales beat expectations in October

China's retail sales beat expectations in October

A staff worker arranges vegetables at a supermarket at Congtai District on November 10, 2021 in Handan, Hebei Province of China.

Li Hao | Visual China Group | Getty Images

BEIJING — China’s retail sales rose more than expected in October, the National Bureau of Statistics said Monday.

October retail sales grew by 4.9% from a year ago, beating a Reuters’ poll forecasting 3.5% growth.

The better-than-expected retail sales in October came during a month that kicked off with China’s last big public holiday for the calendar year. However, significant drivers of retail sales such as autos and apparel declined in October from a year ago.

Industrial production also beat expectations, up by 3.5% year-on-year in October. Reuters had predicted 3% growth.

China’s economy has face several challenges this year — from slower-than-expected consumer spending to disruptive floods threatening to disrupt supply chains.

Adding to the uncertainty is Beijing’s wide-ranging regulatory crackdown targeting sectors including indebted real estate developers and internet companies with alleged monopolistic behavior.

Despite the recent slump in real estate — which accounts for the bulk of household wealth — National Bureau of Statistics Spokesman Fu Linghui claimed Monday that the property market remained stable overall and noted increases in floor space sold.

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From January to October, fixed asset investment rose by 6.1% from a year ago, slightly less than the 6.2% rise projected in a Reuters’ poll.

The urban unemployment rate held steady, at 4.9%. That for those aged 16 to 24 remained much higher at 14.2%.

Strong export growth remains a bright spot. China’s economic expansion is still on pace to exceed the IMF’s global growth prediction of 5.9%, according to major banks polled by CNBC.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

— CNBC’s Yen Nee Lee contributed to this report.