BEIJING—China’s industrial production grew at a faster-than-expected pace in November, suggesting that efforts to boost growth in the world’s second-largest economy may be starting to bear fruit.
The official figures reported Saturday should help Beijing reach its growth target of about 7% this year. While that would be its slowest pace in a quarter century, many economists had worried that China would have a difficult time even reaching that goal.
“It’s pretty good news in a way, that the stimulus is finally working,” said Mizuho Securities Asia economist Shen Jianguang. “It’s definitely not a major turnaround. But it is good to have a reversal of the downward trend.”
The National Bureau of Statistics reported Saturday that China’s industrial production rose 6.2% in November from a year earlier, accelerating from a 5.6% increase in October. This exceeded a median 5.7% growth forecast by 14 economists in a survey by The Wall Street Journal.
Fixed-asset investment in nonrural China rose 10.2% year-over-year in the January to November period, unchanged from the January to October period and matching expectations. Retail sales rose 11.2% in November from a year earlier, accelerating from the 11% year-over-year increase in October, the statistics agency said. The retail figure was slightly above expectations.
Saturday’s industrial-production data, the indicator’s first acceleration in four months, suggests that stimulus policies are gaining traction. Over the past year, Beijing has cut interest rates six times, pushed through hundreds of infrastructure projects and cut required bank reserves several times, freeing up more money to lend.
The results dovetail with better-than-expected data released over the past week on new bank loans, imports and consumer inflation.
Retail sales in China, one of the few recent bright spots in the economy, grew at a healthy pace in November.