BEIJING (REUTERS) – China’s industrial output rose at a faster-than-expected pace in October, while retail sales continued to recover albeit at a slower-than-forecast pace as the world’s second-largest economy emerged from its Covid-19 slump.

Industrial output climbed 6.9 per cent in October from a year earlier, data from the National Statistics Bureau showed on Monday (Nov 16), in line with September’s gain. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a 6.5 per cent rise.

After the pandemic paralysed huge swathes of the economy this year, the industrial sector has staged an impressive turnaround, helped by resilient exports. Now, with coronavirus largely under control in China, consumers are opening up their wallets again in a further boost to economic activity.

Retail sales rose 4.3 per cent on-year, missing analysts’ forecasts for 4.9 per cent growth but faster than a 3.3 per cent increase in September.

China’s auto industry reported robust 12.5 per cent 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 per cent in January-October from the same period last year, compared with forecast 1.6 per cent growth and a 0.8 per cent increase in the first nine months of the year.

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

More on this topic

China’s economic recovery looks to be accelerating in the fourth quarter, with a rebound in demand, strong credit growth and stimulus measures expected to provide a strong tailwind into 2021.

But surging coronavirus infections in Europe and the United States have prompted renewed lockdowns, clouding the global outlook.

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