China's economy showed signs of losing steam in May, with an unexpected slowdown in factory output and lackluster investment and consumption.
Industrial output rose 6.8 percent in May from a year earlier, versus a projected 7 percent in a Bloomberg survey, which was also the reading in April.
Retail sales expanded 8.5 percent from a year earlier, versus a forecast 9.6 percent.
Fixed-asset investment rose 6.1 percent year-on-year in the first five months, compared with an estimated 7 percent.
Surveyed jobless rate in urban areas fell to 4.8 percent from 4.9 percent in April.
With a sharp deceleration in credit growth and the threat of a worsening trade dispute with the U.S., Chinese businesses face an increasingly uncertain outlook. The central bank has tried to support growth by increasing liquidity.
“Going forward, the real economy will be under even higher pressure" as investment continues to slowdown, and relations with the U.S. continue to be tense, Alicia Garcia Herrero, chief Asia-Pacific economist at Natixis SA, wrote in a recent note.