Chinese factory output growth surged to a 19-month high in October, showing the world's third-largest economy has firmly put the worst of the global financial crisis behind it.
Other figures on Wednesday showed a dip in the pace of investment and loan growth as the impact of the initial burst from a bank-financed 4 trillion yuan ($585 billion) economic stimulus package, announced a year ago, tapered off.
Exports and imports also undershot market forecasts, falling from year-earlier levels for the 12th month in a row. But economists said China was maintaining the momentum of its recent recovery, which has made it a certainty that Beijing will surpass its target of 8 per cent growth for 2009 as a whole.
What’s more, the large number of investment projects still in the government’s pipeline, a sharp rebound in real estate spending and the huge volume of loans issued this year virtually guarantee stronger GDP growth in the coming year.
With the economy now on a more solid footing, markets are focusing on when China might start unwinding its stimulus. Policymakers have already asked banks to lend less freely.