Chinese industrial production and retail sales fell well short of expectations in November, according to data released on Investing.com Dec. 15, as the country deals with a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Retail sales plummeted 5.9% year-over-year — significantly beyond the forecasted 3.7% decline — in November following a 0.5% drop in October. It’s the country’s worst retail sales performance since May, when it was also dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak. China’s cumulative retails sales for the year turn negative with the drop.
Industrial production increased 2.2% in November, likewise falling short of projections for 3.6% growth, and down from a 5% increase in October.
The dismal state of the Chinese economy in November reveals the pressure that led to Beijing dismantling its zero-tolerance COVID policy, which had been in place since the dawn of the pandemic, and had recently led to public protests in industrial hubs including Beijing, Shanghai and Wuhan. As the virus has since spread, infecting parts of the workforce and discouraging nervous consumers from spreading, economists aren’t optimistic about China’s chances at economic recovery in the near term, according to The Wall Street Journal.