China consumption slows, real estate investment remains sluggish

The latest economic data from China shows that retail sales slowed and real estate investment remained sluggish in the first two months of this year, weighing on economic recovery efforts.

The National Bureau of Statistics says retail sales grew 5.5 percent year-on-year, but the rate slowed from last December partly because more consumers were spending less.

Real estate investment fell 9 percent. The margin of decline shrank from that for all of last year, but it's still a sharp drop.

The country's central bank pressed ahead with additional monetary easing measures in an effort to shore up the real estate market.

In contrast, industrial production rose 7 percent on the back of higher demand for electric vehicles. The growth rate picked up from December.