Asia-Pacific News

China trade, inflation and retail sales data to hit this week


Brace yourselves: China is slated to release a deluge of data in the coming week, and market participants will likely be paying closer-than-usual attention as uncertainty about the outlook for the world's second largest economy escalates.

The data dump kicks off with August trade numbers on Tuesday, followed by inflation on Thursday and retail sales, industrial production and fixed asset investment on Sunday.

Factory surveys published last week - the first monthly indicators of economic conditions – painted a worrying picture of the economy.

Read MoreChina's manufacturing sector is losing steam, and fast

China's official purchasing managers' index (PMI) slipped to 49.7 in August - the weakest level since August 2012 - down from 50 in July. Meanwhile, the final Caixin/Markit PMI slipped to 47.3 in August, the lowest reading since March 2009 and down from 47.8 in July.

And judging by analysts' forecasts, the upcoming data isn't going to do much to quell investor concerns.

Here's what to expect.

  1. Exports are forecast to have declined 6 percent on year in August, following an 8.3 percent plunge in July. Imports are expected to have dropped 8.2 percent after a fall of 8.1 percent in the previous month.
  2. The consumer price index (CPI) likely rose 1.8 percent in August from a year earlier, up from 1.6 percent in July. The producer price index (PPI) – a gauge of factory-gate prices- is projected to have declined 5.5 percent, the steepest fall since the global financial crisis, following a 5.4 percent decline in the previous month.
  3. Retail sales growth is seen holding steady in August at 10.5 percent.
  4. Industrial output is expected to have gained some traction, rising 6.4 percent on year in August, from 6.0 percent in July.
  5. Fixed asset investment growth is forecast to have decelerated to 11.1 percent in the first eight months of the year from the same period in 2014, compared with 11.2 percent in January-July.