BEIJING: Chinese industrial production rose faster than expected in October, while retail sales continued to recover albeit at a slower pace than expected as the world’s second largest economy emerged from the Covid-19 recession.
Data from the Office for National Statistics on Monday showed industrial output rose 6.9% in October compared to the previous year, in line with September’s gains. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a 6.5 percent increase.
After the pandemic crippled huge sectors of the economy this year, the industrial sector has undergone an impressive transformation, with the help of resilient exports. Now, with the coronavirus largely under control in China, consumers are opening their wallets again in another boost to economic activity.
Retail sales rose 4.3% year-on-year, defying analyst expectations for a 4.9% growth but faster than the 3.3% increase in September.
China’s auto industry reported strong 12.5% growth in auto sales in October thanks to increased demand for cars and electric trucks.
Domestic tourism also saw a strong rebound during the Golden Week holiday last month, although levels are still much lower than last year.
Investment in fixed assets increased 1.8% in the January-October period compared to the same period last year, compared to an expected growth of 1.6% and a 0.8% increase in the first nine months of the year.
Private sector fixed asset investment, which accounts for 60% of total investment, decreased 0.7% in the January-October period, compared to a 1.5% decline in the first nine months of the year.
China’s economic recovery appears to be accelerating in the fourth quarter, with picking up demand, strong credit growth and stimulus measures expected to provide a strong tailwind through 2021.
But the rise in Coronavirus cases in Europe and the United States has led to renewed closures, which have clouded global expectations.