A batch of January-February economic data is released from China today which showed that the slowdown is going to extend for longer. In particular, poor employment data could trigger more forceful measures from the Chinese government to maintain social stability.

Industrial production growth slowed to 5.3% ytd yoy in February, down from 6.2% and missed expectation of 5.5%. That also the slowest pace since early 2002.

Retail sales growth dropped to just 8.2% ytd yoy, down from 9.0% but beat expectation of 8.1%. That’s nonetheless, the weakest growth since at least 2012. Unemployment rate also jumped sharply to 5.3%, up from 4.9% in December, highest in two years.

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Nevertheless, investment offers some positive hope. Fixed assets investment grew 6.1% yoy, up from 5.9% and beat expectation of 6.0%. Real estate investment rose 11.6% yoy, hitting the strongest growth figure since November 2014.

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