Industrial slow-down 'healthy'
Growth in China's industrial output slowed slightly to 15.7 per cent in October, due to high base figures in the fourth quarter of last year as well as the government's macro-control measures to cool the economy.
October's industrial output stood at 488.5 billion yuan (US$58.9 billion), the National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday.
For the first 10 months, industrial output rose a year-on-year 16.9 per cent to 4.37 trillion yuan (US$527.6 billion), the bureau said.
Zhu Jianfang, a senior analyst with Beijing-based China Securities, said October's growth was healthy.
"It was beneficial for the country's economy to achieve a soft landing," he said.
The growth rate will continue to decline in November and December, he said.
China's industrial output began to slow after peaking at 23.2 per cent in February, due to a raft of government measures including raising bank reserve requirements three times and curbing unwanted fixed asset investment projects.
The industrial output slowed 0.7 percentage point in July compared to June and dropped 1.3 percentage points in June compared to May.
The pace of industrial output picked up in September, raising concerns that the cooling measures might lose their effect.
In a latest move to cool the economy, the People's Bank of China, raised benchmark interest rates for the first time in nine years.
The benchmark rate on one-year loans was raised to 5.58 per cent from 5.31 per cent and the rate on one-year deposits was raised to 2.25 per cent from 1.98 per cent.
Niu Li, a senior economist with the State Information Centre, said industrial output is an important indicator for the country's economic growth.
China's industrial output grew 17 per cent last year, and its gross domestic product (GDP) grew 9.1 per cent.
Industrial output grew a year-on-year 17.7 per cent during the first half of this year, and the country's GDP rose 9.7 per cent.
"The drop in industrial output growth in October suggests the country's economy will continue to decline in the fourth quarter," he said.
The country's economic growth is likely to drop to 8.7 per cent in the fourth quarter, from 9.1 per cent in the third quarter and 9.6 per cent in the second quarter, he said.
"China's economic growth will step into a healthy area," he said.
But problems such as energy and transportation bottlenecks and the possible rebound in fixed asset investment will have an impact on the economy, he said.
The country's consumer price is also facing new upward pressures.
The rising prices for means of production will bring in big pressure for the country's future consumer price index, policy makers' key inflation gauge, he said.