(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS AGENCY ‘SHINE’)
China posts faster industrial growth
China’s economy posted steady growth in October with the industrial output enjoying a faster growth than September.
The value-added industrial output expanded 5.9 percent year on year in October, 0.1 percentage points faster than September, National Bureau of Statistics data showed yesterday.
On a monthly basis, output in October grew 0.48 percent from September, the bureau’s figures showed.
In the first 10 months of the year, industrial output rose 6.4 percent, flat with that for the first nine months.
Growth accelerated in most sectors last month. Twenty-five of the 41 main sectors grew faster than in September, accounting for 61 percent of the total. Among them, the electronics, iron and steel, gas supply industries maintained double-digit growth.
Output from the high-technology industry grew 12.4 percent in October, up 1.2 percentage points from September, and was 6.5 percentage points higher than the overall industrial output growth to account for 14 percent.
The strategic emerging industry also posted a year-on-year increase of 10.1 percent, which is 1.7 percentage points higher than last month, accounting for 19.1 percent in the overall figure, indicating optimization of the industrial structure.
“The industrial production continued to move up to medium and high ends,” said Liu Aihua, spokeswoman for the statistics bureau.
The service sector expanded 7.2 percent year on year in October, falling 0.1 percentage points from the previous month.
The information transmission, software and information technology service industry, and the leasing and business service sector increased by 35.7 percent and 8.6 percent, respectively, year on year.
The fixed-asset investment growth quickened to 5.7 percent year on year in the January-October period from 5.4 percent in the first three quarters, hitting a four-month high.
The country’s economic growth was operating within a reasonable range, and the trend for its long-term sound development remained unchanged, Liu said.
To ensure economic stability, China unveiled a flurry of policies that have paid off, she said.
Infrastructure investment posted a significant rebound to 3.7 percent year on year for the period from January to October, up from 3.3 percent in the first nine months, lifting the headline FAI figure by 0.8 percentage points. The pace of growth picked up for the first time this year.
Private-sector investment, which accounts for about 60 percent of the total fixed-asset investment, also expanded at a faster pace of 8.8 percent in the first 10 months, compared with an increase of 8.7 percent in the first three quarters.
“We believe that the momentum in infrastructure sector is likely to continue till the end of 2018,” said Australia and New Zealand Banking Group.
However, property investment continued to cool as the government maintained its tightening measures to curb speculation in the market. Property investment growth fell to 7.7 percent year on year in October from 8.9 percent in September, taking year-to-date growth down to 9.7 percent from 9.9 percent.
Growth of housing sales measured by floor area in October fell to the lowest in six months.
Looking ahead, both property and land transaction growth pointed to a further downside in property investment growth, analysts from China International Capital Corp said.
Retail sales growth slowed more than expected to 8.6 percent in October from 9.2 percent in September. It climbed 9.2 percent for the first 10 months.
Liu said the slower consumption growth was partly caused by the shift of Mid-Autumn Festival from October last year to September this year.
The country’s e-commerce giant Alibaba netted a record of 213.5 billion yuan (US$30.7 billion) in sales on Sunday, the Singles Day online shopping spree, exceeding the combined sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States.
CICC analysts said the weak retail sales in October also reflected softer discretionary consumption demand. Auto sales, which take up around 10 percent of total retail sales, plunged 6.4 percent last month and became one of the major drags.
Liu warned about downward pressure on the economy. However, with inflation being mild, fiscal deficit ratio at a low level, the government’s debt ratio within a reasonable range and foreign exchange reserves being sufficient, the country has ample room to maneuver its macro-economic policies, she said.
Earlier data showed consumer prices rose 2.5 percent year on year in October, unchanged from the previous month. While on a month-on-month basis, the Consumer Price Index grew 0.2 percent, 0.5 percentage points slower than September.
By category, prices of food, tobacco and alcohol rose by 2.9 percent year on year, housing prices went up by 2.5 percent, and prices of transportation and communications increased 3.2 percent.
From January to October, CPI rose 2.1 percent from a year ago.