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

(CNBC) – BEIJING — Chinese consumers stepped up their spending in August, in a sign of further economic recovery from the shock of the coronavirus pandemic.

Retail sales rose 0.5% in August from a year ago, the first positive report for the year so far, China’s National Bureau of Statistics said Tuesday. Notably, sales of communication equipment rose 25.1% from a year ago and that of autos rose 11.8%.

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Retail sales for the first eight months of the year were down 8.6% from a year ago, the bureau said. Online retail sales of physical goods grew by 15.8% during that time, the data showed.

The unemployment rate as measured by the official survey of cities was 5.6%, 0.1 percentage points lower than July, the bureau said.

Industrial production grew 5.6% in August from a year ago.

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

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