China’s factory output back on track

China’s factory output back on track

BEIJING- The Associated Press
China’s factory output back on track

A worker welds bars at a construction site for a train station in Ningbo, China. REUTERS photo

China’s factory output and consumer spending rose in November in signs of a recovery from an economic slowdown, and there was an uptick in inflation, with prices of vegetables and other food rising as the country headed into winter.

Factory output increased 10.1 percent from a year earlier, compared to the previous month’s rise of 9.6 percent year-on-year, the government’s National Bureau of Statistics reported yesterday. Retail sales rose 14.9 percent, up from October’s 14.5 percent.

Consumer prices increased by 2 percent, driven largely by weather-related disruptions in the prices of vegetables and other food, an unusually sensitive issue in a society where the poorest families spend up to half their incomes on food.

Growth may rebound
The country’s economic growth has been slowing, falling last quarter to a three-and-a-half-year low of 7.4 percent as the leadership pursues a policy of targeted stimulus. The government has aimed to keep a lid on any economic overheating and sharp price rises, such as those that followed its huge stimulus in response to the 2008 global financial crisis.

Forecasters expect growth to rebound this quarter or early in 2013, but say it will be gradual and likely to be too weak to drive global growth.