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March 12, 2010

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Industrial output gives weight to recovery on track

CHINA'S industrial output growth accelerated in the first two months of this year, signaling a consolidated recovery, the National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday.

Industrial output expanded 20.7 percent through February, from a 16.9 percent increase in the same period a year earlier and a 18.5 percent rise in December, according to the bureau.

The bureau spokesman Sheng Laiyun said the low base last year, when industrial production gained only 3.8 percent in February 2009, helped the growth in output in the first two months.

"The growth beat our forecast of 20 percent and market forecast of 19.5 percent," said Wang Qing, an analyst of Morgan Stanley. "This acceleration is consistent with the sharp rebound in exports."

Output of heavy industry surged 23.7 percent in the period, faster than a 14.5 percent increase for light industry, the bureau said.

"The gap between the two sectors will be narrowed in the second half of this year after the country's efforts to adjust economic structure bear fruit," said Liu Tiejun, an analyst of Haitong Securities Co.

Premier Wen Jiabao has encouraged the development of modern agriculture, the service industry as well as technology innovation. He also urged that energy, ecological and environmental conservation be improved to accelerate adjustment to the economic structure.

In February, industrial output growth slowed to 12.8 percent as many factories suspended production during the week-long Spring Festival.


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