China's factory activity and retail sales grew by the most in 10 months in October, as the world's second biggest economy leaves COVID-19 behind

China's factory activity and retail sales grew by the most in 10 months in October, as the world's second biggest economy leaves COVID-19 behind
Factory workers wearing surgical masks in Jinjiang, China assemble toy cars for export on March 4, 2020.Feature China/Barcroft Media via Getty
  • Chinese industrial production grew by 6.9% in October, compared to the same month last year, marking the largest increase so far this year.
  • Retail sales rose by 4.3% year-on-year in October, falling short of market expectations for a reading of 4.9%, but this was above September's 3.3% gain and was the largest increase since last December.
  • "Today's latest economic data from China was also welcomed as further evidence that the Chinese economy is continuing its slow recovery from its February lockdown malaise," Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets said.

Factory activity in China grew by more than expected in October, while a separate release on Monday showed retail sales grew by the most in ten months, highlighting how the world's second biggest economy is gradually recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Industrial production rose by 6.9% year-on-year in October, beating market expectations for a rise of 6.7% and marking the largest increase since December, thanks to strong improvements in all major sectors, according to Chinese government data.

Machinery production grew 17.6% in October, versus 15.9% in September, while other sectors that posted strong increases included auto manufacturing, which grew 14.7% from September's 16.4%, general equipment output, which rose 13.1%, from the previous month's 12.5% and textile production, which rose 9.5% in October, after September's 5.6%.
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Meanwhile, a separate release showed Chinese retail sales rose by 4.3% year-on-year in October, falling short of market expectations for a reading of 4.9%, but this was above September's 3.3% gain and the largest increase since last December, as consumer spending recovers along with the gradual easing of restrictions on activity.

"Today's latest economic data from China was also welcomed as further evidence that the Chinese economy is continuing its slow recovery from its February lockdown malaise," Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets said.
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"Today's October number of 4.3% while lower than expected was nonetheless helped in no small part by the Golden Week holiday at the beginning of the month, and augurs well for a strong end to the year, with Singles Day in November likely to also offer a significant boost when the November numbers are released next month," he added.

Chinese blue-chip stocks ended the day on a positive footing, with the Shanghai Composite up 1.1% on the day, while the offshore yuan gained 0.3% against the dollar.
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