China factory output flat, retail sales slip in July

BEIJING (AP) — China has reported its factory output rose just under 5% last month from a year earlier while retail sales fell slightly. The data reported on Friday show that despite a rebound in Chinese exports, overall domestic demand is muted as the country recovers from the coronavirus pandemic. Officials said that overall, China created nearly 2 million fewer jobs than would normally be expected. There were signs of improvement in investment in factories and construction, which fell 1.6% in January to July, compared with a 3.1% contraction in the first half of the year.