April’s economic indicators were released yesterday by the National Statistics Bureau and, perhaps predictably, they sagged, after a strong Q1. Industrial production (+5.3%) and retail sales (+7.2) slowed, while exports, to no one’s surprise, went into negative territory (-2.7%). Fixed-asset investment continued to show resilience, at +6.1% YoY, but it was slightly down from the Q1 number and slightly missed analysts’ expectations.
The numbers worried reporters at the SCMP. Markets, however, didn’t seem to care, as the Hang Seng Index and Shenzhen A-Share Indices rose. Trump Tweet Fatigue may be the cause, but it may also simply be too soon to say.
Guangdong will report its numbers fairly soon, which will give a clearer idea of what the state of play is in the Greater Bay. For reference, the province increased its share of the national total in trade during Q1. We will look for a closer read on industrial production, retail sales, and fixed-asset investment when they are released.