August data on retail, industrial production, RRR cut


Chinese laborers working at a construction site at sunset in Chongqing, China on March 6, 2005.

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BEIJING — China’s National Bureau of Statistics was set Friday to release economic data for August, a day after a surprise rate cut to aid its faltering economy.

Retail sales were expected to have risen by 3% in August from a year ago, according to a Reuters’ poll of analysts.

Industrial production was forecast to have increased by 3.9% in August from a year ago, according to the Reuters poll.

Fixed asset investment from January to August was forecast to have increased by 3.3% from a year ago, the Reuters poll showed.

China’s economic rebound from the pandemic has slowed since the second quarter, dragged down by a real estate slump. Exports, another key driver of China’s economy, have also dropped as global demand for Chinese goods wanes.

More rate cuts

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Monetary policy has remained relatively loose compared with aggressive rate hikes in the U.S. and Europe.

Also effective Friday is a reduction in the foreign exchange reserve requirement ratio for financial institutions to 4%, from 6%. The planned cut was announced two weeks ago.

The central bank has also trimmed other benchmark rates, such as the one-year loan prime rate.

China’s slowing economic growth

Moody’s on Thursday downgraded its outlook on China’s property sector to negative from stable. The firm expects sales to fall by around 5% over the next six to 12 months.

“While the Chinese government has recently strengthened policy support for the property sector, we expect the impact on property sales to be short-lived and differentiated between tiers of cities,” Cedric Lai, vice president and senior analyst at Moody’s, said in a release.

Workers make pods for e-cigarettes on the production line at Kanger Tech, one of China’s leading manufacturers of vaping products, on September 24, 2019 in Shenzhen, China.

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