A range of Chinese economic indicators saw a sharp decrease in growth in August, as tighter government regulations on the property market and another outbreak of the Covid-19 Delta variant affected consumer spending and the housing sector, reports The Wall Street Journal.
According to data released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics, home sales by value fell 19.7% in August from a year ago, the largest drop since April 2020 — at the height of the pandemic. Average new-home prices in 70 major Chinese cities inched 0.16% higher in August from the previous month, the smallest such gain this year.
Real-estate investment in the first eight months of the year, meantime, increased 10.9% year over year, slowing from a 12.7% gain in the January-July period. Construction starts, as measured by floor area, dropped 3.2% in the January-August period, accelerating from a 0.9% year-over-year decline in the first seven months of the year.
Retail sales rose just 2.5% in August from a year earlier, down sharply from July’s 8.5% year-over-year growth, separate data from the statistics bureau showed. The result marked the lowest pace of growth in a year and missed by a large margin the 6.3% increase expected by economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.