The Delta variant has hit China's economy hard. Now a property crunch is looming

The Delta variant has hit China's economy hard. Now a property crunch is looming

Hong Kong (CNN Business)China's dramatic steps to contain the coronavirus this summer have taken a toll on consumer confidence in the country and are fueling concerns about the strength of the world's second largest economy. Retail sales struggled in August, increasing just 2.5% compared to a year earlier, according to government statistics released Wednesday. That was much weaker than expected and a dramatic slowdown from the 8.5% uptick recorded in July. Chinese authorities attributed the slower growth to Covid-19 outbreaks and flooding, which stopped people from traveling and caused them to hold off on "summer holiday spending," according to Fu Linghui, a spokesman for the National Bureau of Statistics, who spoke Wednesday at a press conference in Beijing. Industrial production rose 5.3% in August from a year earlier, also slower …
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