China's Factory Output Grows at Fastest Pace in 17 Months

China's factory production rose 10.4 percent in August from a year earlier, the fastest pace in 17 months, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.


The August data show a recovery trend after the government used measures from tax cuts to extra spending on railways to defend the year’s 7.5 percent expansion goal.


Grouped by different sectors, 39 industries within 41 industrial divisions kept year-on-year growth, including a 13.6 percent gain in ferrous metals and 12.3 percent in chemicals, according to the statistics agency.


Steel production rose 15.6 percent in August, up from 10.9 percent in July, and electricity output expanded 13.4 percent, compared with 8.1 percent the previous month.


In terms of output per region, the eastern region's output increased 9.3 percent year-on-year; the central region went up by 11.4 percent; and the western region rose by 12.9 percent.


The statistics agency also reported that the total retail sales of consumer goods reached 1,888.6 billion yuan, up by 13.4 percent year-on-year, while fixed-asset investment excluding rural households increased 20.3 percent in the January-August period, both topping estimates.


China’s exports rose 7.2 percent from a year earlier, the General Administration of Customs said Sept. 8. Imports rose a less-than-estimated 7 percent from a year earlier, leaving a trade surplus of more than $28 billion.


Meanwhile, consumer prices rose 2.6 percent in August, said the statistics bureau, leaving room for extra stimulus if needed. The prices of consumer goods went up by 2.5 percent and the prices of services grew by 2.7 percent. On average from January to August, the overall consumer prices were up by 2.5 percent over the same period of the previous year.

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