China’s private sector has been hit hard by the sluggish economy, with production and investment both underperforming figures from state-owned companies in new economic data out Tuesday, reports Nikkei Asia. Year-on-year growth in industrial production and total retail sales of consumer goods slowed in July, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Production increased just 0.01% from June to July after adjusting for seasonal factors, while retail sales fell for the first time since December 2022.
Signs of weakness were especially pronounced among private-sector companies, which are largely small or medium-sized. Their industrial production grew 2.5% on the year in July, lagging behind the 3.4% increase at state-owned corporations—a trend that has continued since June 2022.
Private-sector companies are also falling behind in fixed-asset investment. Their January-July figure shrank 0.5% on the year, a steeper decline than the 0.2% for the January-June period.