China’s industrial output rose 5.6 per cent in August from a year ago, expanding for the fifth straight month in a boost to an economy trying to regain its footing from the shock of the coronavirus outbreak.

Analysts had expected annual industrial output growth to have quickened to 5.1 per cent in August from 4.8 per cent gain in July, as more businesses resumed production after Beijing managed to largely contain the epidemic and remove most of the nationwide virus curbs.

China’s retail sales rose 0.5 per cent last month from a year earlier, data showed, expanding for the first time this year, beating analysts’ forecast for zero growth and compared with a 1.1 per cent drop in July.

Consumption has been slowly picking up following the relaxation of nationwide containment measures.

Fixed asset investment fell 0.3 per cent in the first eight months of the year from the same period in 2019, compared with forecasts of a 0.4 per cent fall and a 1.6 per cent decline in the first seven months of the year.

The world’s second-biggest economy has largely managed to bounce back from the health crisis, though intensifying Sino-US tensions over a range of issues and the global demand outlook remain risk factors.