China factory output up

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    BEIJING- China’s factory output rose faster-than-expected in October and retail sales continued to recover albeit at a slowerthan-forecast pace, as the world’s second-largest economy emerged from its COVID-19 slump.

    Industrial output climbed 6.9 percent in October from a year earlier, data from the National Statistics Bureau showed on Monday, in line with September’s gain.

    Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a 6.5 percent rise.

    The upbeat figures came as other Asian economic powerhouses also climbed out from their pandemic depths with Japan’s economy reporting its fastest quarterly growth on record.

    China’s industrial sector has staged an impressive turnaround from the pandemic paralysis seen earlier this year, helped by resilient exports.

    Now, with the coronavirus largely under control in China, consumers are opening up their wallets again in a further boost to activity.

    China’s fourth-quarter economic growth will accelerate from the third quarter, Fu Linghui, spokesman of the National Statistics Bureau said, told reporters at a briefing.

    Consumption prospects are improving, with the services industry showing good recovery momentum, Fu said.

    Retail sales rose 4.3 percent onyear, missing analysts’ forecasts for 4.9 percent growth but faster than the 3.3 percent increase in September.

    China’s auto industry reported robust 12.5 percent growth in October vehicle sales thanks to surging demand for electric cars and trucks.

    Domestic tourism also saw a strong rebound over the Golden Week holiday last month, although levels were still well short of last year’s.

    Fixed-asset investment rose 1.8 percent in January-October from the same period last year, compared with the 1.6 percent growth forecast and a 0.8 percent increase in the first nine months of the year.

    Property investment was a key driver of broader spending with October real estate investment up 12.7 percent from a year ago, the fastest pace since July 2018 and quickening from 12 percent seen in September, according to Reuters calculations based on NBS data.

    Property sales by floor area rose a solid 15.3 percent, the highest in over three years, while new construction starts expanded 3.5 percent, improving from last month’s fall of 1.9 percent.

    However, government efforts to prevent bubbles in the property sector are gaining traction with Chinese new home prices growing at a slower monthly pace in October amid restrictions imposed in some big cities.

    Private sector fixed-asset investment, which accounts for 60 percent of total investment, fell 0.7 percent in January-October, compared with a 1.5 percent decline in the first nine months of the year.