China’s Q2 GDP misses another record high in youth unemployment

Urban residents more than doubled their tourism spending to 1.98 trillion yuan ($280 billion) in the first half of the year, official data showed. Guangzhou South Railway Station is pictured here on July 15, 2023.

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BEIJING – China’s second-quarter gross domestic product grew 6.3% from a year ago, it said on Monday.

The unemployment rate among 16- to 24-year-olds was 21.3% in June, a new record.

The 6.3% GDP print for the second quarter marked a 0.8% growth from the first quarter, slower than the 2.2% quarterly pace recorded in the first three months of the year. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast second-quarter GDP growth of 7.3%.

Retail sales rose 3.1% for June, a touch below the 3.2% expected. Among retail sales, catering, sports and entertainment products rose the most, along with liquor and tobacco. Sales of autos, office supplies and consumer goods declined in June from a year ago. Online sales grew 6.7% in June from a year earlier, slower than in May, according to CNBC calculations of official data accessed by Wind Information.

Industrial production for June rose 4.4% from a year ago, better than the 2.7% forecast.

Fixed asset investment rose 3.8% in the first half of the year, better than the 3.5% forecast.

The urban unemployment rate was 5.2% in June.

China ended its Covid-19 restrictions in December. The initial economic recovery has lost steam. The huge real estate sector is struggling to recover, while exports have slumped due to falling global demand.

Within China, sluggish consumer demand kept prices unchanged in June. The People’s Bank of China said last week it expected a decline in July, but expected inflation to pick up again later this year.

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Domestic travel remains a bright spot in the recovery. Urban residents said their tourism spending more than doubled from a year ago to 1.98 trillion yuan ($280 billion). Ministry of Culture and Tourism. However, the rural population’s travel expenditure increased by only about 40% during that time.

The first-half total of 2.3 trillion yuan was lower than the 2.78 trillion yuan reported in the first six months of 2019, official data showed.

Beijing said last week it would extend asset support measures. Officials have also announced broad support for exports. The country has extended tax breaks for electric car purchases, with the government keen to support the growing industry.

But Beijing has otherwise been reluctant to embark on major stimulus, particularly as local government debt soars. A Politburo meeting expected later this month may provide more details on economic policy.

This is breaking news. Check back for updates.

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