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China's factory output, consumer spending rise in signs of recovery; inflation at 2.0 per cent


Women buy vegetables from a vendor at a market in Nanjing in east China's Jiangsu province Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. China's main gauge of inflation rose 2.0 percent in November, up from the previous month's 1.7 percent, driven largely by food price increases, the government said Sunday. (AP Photo) CHINA OUT

BEIJING, China - China's factory output and consumer spending rose in November in signs of a recovery from an economic slowdown, and there was an uptick in inflation, with prices of vegetables and other food rising as the country headed into winter.

Factory output increased 10.1 per cent from a year earlier, compared to the previous month's rise of 9.6 per cent year-on-year, the government's National Bureau of Statistics reported Sunday. Retail sales rose 14.9 per cent, up from October's 14.5 per cent.

Consumer prices increased by 2.0 per cent, driven largely by weather-related disruptions in the prices of vegetables and other food, an unusually sensitive issue in a society where the poorest families spend up to half their incomes on food.

The country's economic growth has been slowing, falling last quarter to a three-and-a-half-year low of 7.4 per cent as the leadership pursues a policy of targeted stimulus. The government has aimed to keep a lid on any economic overheating and sharp price rises, such as those that followed its huge stimulus in response to the 2008 global financial crisis.

Forecasters expect growth to rebound this quarter or early in 2013, but say it will be gradual and likely to be too weak to drive global growth.


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