In China, industrial production and retail sales increased below expectations in May, while youth unemployment reached a record level.
China’s National Bureau of Statistics (UIB) released May data, which includes key economic indicators and unemployment figures.
Accordingly, the unemployment rate in urban areas remained stable at 5.2 percent in May compared to the previous month, while the youth population aged 16-24 increased by 0.4 percentage points to 20.8 percent.
Although the overall unemployment rate remained stable, youth unemployment surpassed the record level of 20.4 percent recorded last month.
The fact that youth unemployment, which has increased since the beginning of the Kovid-19 epidemic, is still high, is interpreted as a sign of fragility in the economic recovery.
The economy is struggling to maintain its growth momentum
Data for May reveal that the economy had difficulty in sustaining its growth momentum in the first quarter of this year, after the recession in the last quarter of last year.
Industrial production, which calculates the output of industrial enterprises with an annual turnover of more than 20 million yuan (approximately 2.8 million dollars), increased by 3.5 percent on an annual basis in May, falling behind the 5.6 increase in April, according to UİB data.
Production output of state-owned industrial enterprises increased by 4.4 percent, while that of private sector enterprises increased by only 0.7 percent.
Retail sales, which are accepted as a measure of consumption, also increased by 12.7 percent year-on-year in May, below the 18.4 percent increase in April.
The low base caused by the closure and quarantine measures implemented due to the Kovid-19 outbreak in the spring of last year causes the annual increase in this item to appear high.
Investments are losing momentum
Fixed capital investments, including infrastructure, real estate, machinery and equipment expenditures, increased by 4 percent in the first five months compared to the same period of the previous year, but fell behind the 4.7 percent increase in the first 4 months.
Fixed capital investments of state-owned industrial enterprises increased by 8.4 percent year on year, while that of private sector enterprises decreased by 0.1 percent.
In the first 5 months, industrial investments increased by 8.8 percent, infrastructure investments by 7.5 percent, while real estate investments decreased by 7.2 percent.