China July industrial output rises 4.8% y/y; retail sales down 1.1%

BEIJING, Aug 14 (Reuters) - China’s July industrial output rose 4.8% from a year earlier, data showed on Friday, expanding for the fourth straight month but growth was less than expected as the economy gradually recovers from coronavirus-related lockdowns.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected growth to quicken to 5.1% year-on-year from a 4.8% gain in June as more businesses resumed production after lockdowns put in place to contain the coronavirus.

Retail sales dropped 1.1% on-year, worse than a predicted 0.1% expansion and compared with a 1.8% drop in June.

Sales fell for seventh straight months in signs of sluggish consumer demand, although strict nationwide containment measures have been relaxed.

Fixed asset investment slipped 1.6% in the first seven months of the year from the same period last year, in line with expectations and recovering from a 3.1 % decline in the first half of the year. (Reporting by Colin Qian and Kevin Yao; Editing by Sam Holmes)