China industrial output jumps to five month high

August 9, 2013
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A tower crane at a construction site in Datong, north China's Shanxi province, on August 2, 2013/AFP
A tower crane at a construction site in Datong, north China’s Shanxi province, on August 2, 2013/AFP

, BEIJING, August 9 – China’s key industrial production growth accelerated to a five month high in July, the government announced Friday as a series of statistics gave positive pointers for the world’s second largest economy.

Industrial production, which measures output at factories, workshops and mines, rose 9.7 percent year on year, well above analyst expectations of 9.0 percent in a survey by Dow Jones Newswires.

Authorities also announced steady expansion in retail sales and fixed asset investment, and a benign inflation figure of 2.7 percent, unchanged on last month.

Analysts said the figures pointed to a more stable outlook for China’s economy seen as a key driver of global growth after months of mounting pessimism.

Lu Ting, a Hong Kong based economist for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, told AFP the “overall figures are actually very good, especially the industrial output figure”.

Gross domestic product (GDP) in China seen as a key driver of global growth expanded 7.8 percent in 2012, its slowest annual pace in 13 years.

Growth slipped to 7.7 percent in the January-March period and slowed further to 7.5 percent in the second quarter, raising alarm bells among economists over possible further weakness.

But after Friday’s figures Lu told AFP: “The momentum, if maintained, would in fact make everyone’s estimation about the second half rather pessimistic, so we will likely see a round of GDP forecast upgrades soon.”

The output figures came on the heels of robust trade figures Thursday.

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