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Car sales boost production spurt

BOOMING car sales and steel output spurred Chinese factories to produce at a faster-than-expected pace last month, signaling a stronger recovery in the world's third-largest economy.

Industrial output gained 19.2 percent last month from a year earlier, the fastest in 19 months, following a 16.1 percent growth in October and a 13.9 percent growth in September, the National Bureau of Statistics said today

Auto output surged 100.8 percent last month to 1.44 million units, among which sedan production gained 87.4 percent to 776,000 units, the bureau said.

The strong output followed booming auto sales, which jumped 42 percent in the first 11 months to 12 million units, after the country introduced lower sales tax on cars to boost demand.

Crude steel output rose 37.4 percent to 47.26 million tons last month and power production gained 26.9 percent to 323.4 billion kilowatt-hours.

All 39 sectors that contribute to industrial output grew last month. Manufacturers of transport equipment reported a 31.3 percent rise, followed by a 30.7-percent increase for chemical material producers and a 27.1 percent increase for the ferrous metal smelting and pressing industry.

In the first 11 months, industrial output rose 10.3 percent, faster than a 9.4 percent growth in the first 10 months, the bureau said.

Urban fixed-asset investment jumped 32.1 percent in the first 11 months to 16.86 trillion yuan (US$2.46 trillion), faster than the same period of a year earlier by 5.3 percentage points but 1 percentage point slower than the investment in the first 10 months, according to the bureau.

Real estate investment rose 17.8 percent to 3.13 trillion yuan in the period, up from an increase of 16.6 percent in the first 10 months.

The increase mirrored a 5.7 percent growth of average housing price in 70 major cities in the country last month bolstered by buyers' strong sentiment.


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