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China's Industrial Output Speeds Up in H1

China's value-added industrial output expanded at a more rapid pace in the first half (H1) of this year, adding to signs of continued stabilization in the wider economy.

The indicator grew 6.9 percent year on year in the January-June period, an improvement on the 6.8 percent for the first quarter, and the 6 percent registered for the same period of 2016, data of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on July 17.

In June, industrial-production growth increased to 7.6 percent, after staying at 6.5 percent in April and May.

Industrial output is an important economic index that measures the activity of designated large enterprises with annual turnover of at least 20 million yuan (nearly $3 million ).

"China's industrial production growth has remained above 6 percent since March 2016 and picked up further this year," NBS spokesperson Xing Zhihong said at a press conference, adding that improving profits and higher expectations had stimulated investment.

Industrial enterprises above the designated size reaped profits of 2.9 trillion yuan ($435 billion) in the first five months, representing an increase of 22.7 percent from a year ago.

The producer price index showed factory activity had moved out of deflation territory in September after dropping for 54-consecutive months.

The high-tech and equipment manufacturing sectors led industrial output growth, with year-on-year increases of 13.1 percent and 11.5 percent in H1, respectively.

The manufacturing output increased by 7.4 percent, while output from suppliers of power, heating, fuel gas and water gained 8.1 percent. The mining sector, however, slipped 1 percent.

In terms of products, steel output increased by 1.1 percent, automobiles by 6.3 percent, electricity by 6.3 percent, and crude runs by 3 percent.

Ownership analysis showed that industrial output of state-holding enterprises was up 6.2 percent in the January-June period, while output of share-holding enterprises grew 7.1 percent. Meanwhile, the industrial output of foreign-funded enterprises increased 6.7 percent.

The industrial output figures were released by the NBS along with a slew of other major economic indicators.

China's economy posted a forecast-beating growth rate in H1, with GDP up 6.9 percent from a year ago. The increase for the second quarter was also 6.9 percent.

The growth was well above the full-year target of 6.5 percent and the 6.7-percent increase registered in 2016.

(Xinhua News Agency July 17, 2017)

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