‘China’s domestic demand rises sharply in October’

China’s domestic demand rose sharply in October, joining the recovery in industrial production and exports, the British think tank Oxford Economics has said in a study.

“China’s economic recovery has become more broad-based” and domestic demand saw “a strong catch-up in October, reaching a level similar to industrial value-added and exports,” said the think tank in its monthly Recovery Tracker.

Retail sales of consumer goods, the main gauge of China’s consumption, climbed 4.3 per cent year on year to 3.86 trillion yuan (about 584.5 billion US dollars) last month, quickening from the 3.3-per cent gain in September, according to data released by the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday, Xinhua reported.

In the meantime, China’s value-added industrial output, an important economic indicator, went up 6.9 per cent year on year in October, the official data showed.

“Driving the pickup in domestic demand was largely still investment, while real retail sales also gathered pace,” said Tommy Wu, lead economist of Oxford Economics.

Amid sustained government efforts to rein in housing speculation, China’s housing market remained stable in October, with new home prices in four first-tier cities — Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen — increasing by 0.3 per cent month on month in October, 0.1 percentage points slower from a month earlier, said the NBS.

“We expect (China’s) household consumption to become a more important fuel for sequential growth momentum from this quarter onwards,” said Wu.

“Indeed, signs are emerging of a pickup in demand for services and a recovery in employment, which will provide an impetus to rebounding household consumption,” said Wu.

China’s surveyed unemployment rate in urban areas stood at 5.3 per cent in October, 0.1 percentage points lower than that of September, said the NBS, as the country has been giving priority to stabilize employment and ensure living standards this year.