China’s economy showed signs of stabilizing last month, with retail sales and factory output beating expectations as a power supply crisis appeared to ease, data released yesterday showed.
The recovery in the world’s second-largest economy has been losing steam for much of the year after a swift bounceback from harsh lockdowns to contain COVID-19, with officials earlier citing an “unstable and uneven” economic rebound.
Power outages in the past few months caused by emission reduction targets, the surging price of coal and supply shortages also affected factory production.
However, industrial production grew 3.5 percent year-on-year last month, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said, as China worked to boost coal production and ease its energy shortage. A survey of economists tipped a 3.0 percent expansion.
NBS spokesman Fu Linghui (傅令輝) said yesterday that the “international environment remains complex and severe” with many uncertainties, adding that China needs to “work harder to maintain economic stability and recovery.”
“While electricity shortages and production cuts hampered output in early October, we don’t think they are a significant problem anymore,” Louis Kuijs of Oxford Economics said yesterday.
He added that this follows “a range of policy measures to boost coal production and lower coal prices.”
However, economic momentum remained weak last month, he said, “with the real estate downturn weighing on industry and a new wave of COVID outbreaks dampening household consumption.”
Retail sales rose 4.9 percent year-on-year last month, far exceeding forecasts for 3.7 percent, the latest data showed.
Yet observers warn that this could be bogged down by recent containment measures, reimposed following a fresh virus outbreak in the middle of last month that has spread to several regions.
Fu said that “domestic tourist numbers and income growth were below pre-pandemic levels” during the golden week holiday at the start of the month.
The urban unemployment rate remained at 4.9 percent.
Weakness in the economy is giving the country’s central bank a headache as it must try to nurture a recovery while at the same time keep a lid on inflation, which is at levels not seen since the mid-1990s.
AVOIDING CONFUSION: Passengers are to be able to check in two items of luggage, while the free weight allowance is to be increased to conform with other airlines EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) yesterday announced that from June 23 it is to adopt a new baggage allowance policy for all passengers with a higher weight limit as it aims to benefit passengers and increase efficiency. The airline currently has a two-system baggage policy: It allows passengers flying to the US and Canada to check in two pieces of baggage with a free weight allowance, while for those flying to Asia, Europe and Oceania there is also a free weight allowance, but no limit on the number of pieces of baggage. From June 23, passengers would be able to check in two
MORE THAN BUZZ: The chip designer said it has received numerous orders from automakers to supply 5G modem chips, as it works to expand beyond smartphones MediaTek Inc (聯發科) yesterday said it would ship the first 5G chips for vehicles to customers in the Asia-Pacific region by the end of the year, as it moves to expand the reach of its 5G chips beyond smartphones. The Hsinchu-based chip designer said it has been developing 5G chips for connected vehicles over the past few years, targeting applications such as telematics and in-vehicle information systems. “We are seeing demand for 5G technology from numerous makers of connected cars, including electric vehicle makers. We have obtained numerous orders from automakers to supply 5G modem chips with highly integrated features,” J.C. Hsu
Qualcomm Inc yesterday said it would maintain its supply chain strategy of sourcing chips from multiple foundry partners, including advanced chips from two major suppliers, to ensure a sufficient chip supply amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Qualcomm is reportedly working with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) and Samsung Electronics Co on advanced products, such as 4-nanometer chips, for its new flagship 5G chips, the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 series. Qualcomm is sourcing chips made by mature technologies from several foundry partners, the company said. Alex Katouzian, general manager of Qualcomm Technologies Inc’s mobile, compute and XR business, told a virtual media briefing that
US DRAM maker Micron Technology Inc is set to install the industry’s most cutting-edge technology — extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography equipment — in its facility in Taichung this year, the company said yesterday. In early preparation for the volume production of 1-gamma nanometer node DRAM, “we plan to introduce EUV tools to our Taichung fab later this year,” Micron president and chief executive officer Sanjay Mehrotra said via video at the Computex trade show in Taipei. Gamma refers to the dimension of half the distance between cells in a DRAM chip. Micron is also looking forward to beginning mass production of its