imageEconomic Indicators7 hours ago (Mar 16, 2020 12:10AM ET)

(C) Reuters. – China said its industrial output, retail sales and fixed income investment all fell a lot more than expected at the start of the year.

Industrial output plunged 13.5% year-on-year in January and February, compared to the expected 3% contraction. Retail sales fell 20.5% in the period, versus a projected 4% fall. Fixed-asset investment dropped 24.5%, versus a forecast 2% decline. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate surged to 6.2%, the highest on record.

The disappointing data came as the new coronavirus continued to spread globally and caused huge impact to factories and spending. The outbreak of the virus began in Wuhan and worsened in January, prompting China to restrict travel and business across the country.

While there are signs that the spread seems to be slowing in China, the coronavirus is now spreading rapidly in Europe, the U.S. and other parts of the world.

Earlier this month, the World Health Organization officially declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.

The Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component traded 0.6% and 1.8% lower following the release of the data, while the Hang Seng Index was down 2.6% in morning trade.

China Industrial Output, Retail Sales and Investment Drop Deeper Than Expected

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