, Beijing, China, Sep 13 – China’s industrial output growth accelerated in August, government statistics showed Tuesday, exceeding expectations in an encouraging sign for the world’s second-largest economy.
Industrial production rose 6.3 percent year-on-year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said, faster than July’s 6.0 percent and above the median forecast of 6.2 percent in a Bloomberg News poll of economists.
Retail sales, a key measure of consumer spending, rose 10.6 percent in August, the NBS said, also ahead of expectations and the July figure.
Beijing is looking to retool the economy from a reliance on investment spending and exports to one driven more by consumer demand, but the transition has proven bumpy and gross domestic product growth is slowing.
China is a key driver of the world economy but grew at its slowest rate in a quarter of a century last year, and has decelerated further since then.
Fixed asset investment, a gauge of infrastructure spending, was up 8.1 percent in the first eight months of the year, matching the figure for the January-July period.
“In August… some indicators picked up, efforts of cutting overcapacity, reducing inventory, deleveraging, lowering costs and strengthening weak links achieved notable results,” said NBS spokesman Sheng Laiyun.
“The national economy has achieved moderate but steady and sound development,” he added, but urged caution going forward.
“We must be aware that the domestic and external economic conditions are still complicated and severe with many instabilities and uncertainties,” he said.
Retail sales beat expectations of 10.2 percent in a Bloomberg News poll of economists, while fixed asset investment was ahead of the 7.9 percent estimate.