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December 12, 2009

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Industrial production surges 19% on car sales

China's November industrial production surged 19.2 percent from a year ago, fueled by booming auto sales and steel output, and signaled a stronger recovery in the world's third-largest economy.

The surge in November output was the fastest in 19 months and followed a 16.1-percent expansion in October and a 13.9-percent growth in September, the National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday. November's increase beat the market consensus of 18.2 percent.

"The growth in month-on-month terms was also strong, suggesting that the economy continues to gain momentum," said Alaistair Chan, an analyst at Moody's "The news is likely to create renewed calls for tightening measures, and increase international pressure for the yuan to appreciate."

The nation's auto output accelerated 100.8 percent last month to 1.44 million units, with sedan production gaining 87.4 percent to 776,000 units, the bureau said.

"(Auto) production is likely to slow in coming months as the government's tax break for car purchases will be partially phased out," Moody's Chan said.

The strong output followed booming auto sales, which jumped 42 percent in the first 11 months to 12 million units, after the government introduced a lower sales tax to encourage car buying.

Crude steel output rose 37.4 percent to 47.26 million tons last month, and power production surged 26.9 percent to 323.4 billion kilowatt-hours. Manufacturers of transport equipment saw a 31.3-percent rise, followed by a 30.7-percent increase for chemical material producers and a 27.1-percent gain for the ferrous metal smelting and pressing industry.

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

"China targets an 11-percent increase in industrial output next year," Li Yizhong, Minister of Industry and Information Technology, said in a recent media interview.


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