On Tuesday, China’s National Bureau of Statistics released August data on the Chinese economy. It showed that while retail sales -- a proxy for domestic consumption (although it includes other things) -- was down 8.6 per cent for the first eight months of 2020, it nonetheless posted its first monthly year-on-year increase in 2020, with retail sales 0.5 per cent higher than last year.

The data also showed that industrial production was 5.6 per cent higher. Add to that a 4.16 per cent rise in fixed asset investment and a 19.3 per cent increase in August’s trade surplus, and the data left most analysts convinced that China’s recovery from the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic was both solid and sustainable.

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This article was orignally published by the Financial Times.