China Dec Industrial Output +6.2% on Year; Market Expected +6.0%

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China's industrial output picked up in December, adding to signs that the world's second-largest economy ended 2017 on a more solid footing than expected.

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Value-added industrial output, a rough proxy for economic growth, expanded 6.2% in December from a year earlier, compared with a 6.1% increase in November, the National Bureau of Statistics said Thursday. The increase outpaced the forecast for a 6.0% rise from a Wall Street Journal poll of economists.

Industrial production increased 0.52 % on-month in December, compared with November's 0.48% growth.

The firmer on-year production figure affirms steady growth in the wider economy. Gross domestic product growth in the fourth quarter matched the 6.8% pace of the previous three months, while for the whole of 2017, the economy expanded 6.9%.

Growth in fixed-asset investment outside rural households slowed to 7.2% in 2017, compared with 8.1% growth in 2016, the statistics bureau said. The rise in fixed-asset investment, a closely watched indicator of construction activity, matched the economist survey's forecast for a 7.2% gain.

Retail sales grew 9.4% on year in December, decelerating from a 10.2% rise in November. Analysts had forecast a gain of 10.1%.

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Write to Grace Zhu at grace.zhu@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 18, 2018 02:33 ET (07:33 GMT)