China’s retail sales growth for the first time in 2020

People shop at a mall in Beijing on August 14, 2020.

Nicholas Asafouri | AFP | Getty Images

BEIJING – In a sign of further economic recovery from the shock of the coronovirus epidemic, Chinese consumers increased their spending in August.

China’s National Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday that retail sales rose 0.5% in August from a year earlier, the first positive report to date. Notably, sales of communications equipment increased 25.1% from a year earlier and auto prices rose 11.8%.

The bureau said retail sales for the first eight months of the year were down 8.6% from a year earlier. At that time, online retail sales of physical goods grew by 15.8%.

The bureau said that according to the official survey of cities, the unemployment rate is 5.6%, 0.1 percent lower than in July.

A year earlier, industrial production was up 5.6% in August.

Fixed-asset investment declined 0.3% for the first eight months of the year. It was not immediately clear what the year-over-year figure for August was.

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