China's latest economic stats point to slow recovery

China's latest key statistics indicate a mild economic rebound from last year's COVID slump.

The National Bureau of Statistics says industrial output rose 5.6 percent in April from the same month in 2022. The pace falls short of market expectations of around 10 percent. Strict coronavirus lockdowns were in place in Shanghai and elsewhere in the country a year earlier, crimping supply chains.

Retail sales surged 18.4 percent last month year-on-year. Restaurants saw a big improvement from the pandemic low, while auto sales were lackluster.

Investment in real estate development marked a contraction of 6.2 percent in the January-to-April period.

The jobless rate among people aged from 16 to 24 in urban areas in April exceeded 20 percent for the first time since 2018 when comparable data became available. The number came in at 20.4 percent.

Analysts say deep-rooted concerns about employment are making people more cautious on spending, and that the pace of economic recovery is slowing.