China sees both industrial output and retail sales rise

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Media caption,

John Sudworth visits Gu Sihai and his family in Shanghai

China's economic growth rate may be gathering pace again, as the government released strong industrial output and retail sales figures.

Industrial production rose by 10.1% in November, compared with a year earlier, according to the official data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

This was better than expected, and the strongest performance since March.

At the same time, China's retail sales increased by 14.9%. This was also the best showing for eight months.

'Sweet spot'

The official economic data are the first to be released since the Communist Party appointed its new leaders last month.

The figures will be good news for them, but also for the world economy, as China's factory output is indicative of global demand for the country's consumer products.

Until the end of September, China had seen seven consecutive quarters of a slowing economic growth rate, due to both falling exports and weak domestic demand.

The data for the current three months from October to December will be released in the new year. For July to September, the rate of growth was 7.4%, down from 7.6% in the first quarter the year, and 9.2% for 2011 as a whole.

Other data released on Sunday showed that Chinese inflation rose slightly to 3% in November - from 2.7% in October.

"The Chinese economy is in the sweet spot now with rebounding GDP growth, rebounding earning growth and low inflation," said Lu Ting, China economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

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