Industrial output expands 6.7 pct in Jan-Sept period

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China's industrial value-added output remained stable in the first three quarters of the year with robust high-end manufacturing and rising corporate profits.

Industrial value-added output expanded 6.7 percent year on year in the Jan.-Sept., the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Thursday.

The growth rate was faster than the 6 percent increase in the same period of 2016 and flat with that of the first eight months. In September, industrial output rose 6.6 percent.

Released along with a string of other major economic data, the indicator measures the activity of designated large enterprises with annual turnover of at least 20 million yuan (around 3 million U.S. dollars).

"Industrial production picked up pace, with improving structure and better performance," NBS spokesperson Xing Zhihong said at a press conference.

High-tech and equipment manufacturing sectors posted stellar growth in the first three quarters, with the output up 13.4 percent and 11.6 percent respectively, as the country encourages factories to move up the value chain.

"The two sectors contributed more than 12 percent and 32 percent to the entire industrial output," Xing added.

The production of civilian drones doubled from a year ago, followed by a nearly-70-percent jump for industrial robots and a more than 30 percent increase for new energy vehicles. Integrated circuits and solar panels also saw substantial output rises.

Corporate profits continued to improve. Industrial businesses above the designated size reaped a combined profit of 4.92 trillion yuan in the first eight months, an increase of 21.6 percent from a year ago.

The data dismissed concerns about a loss of momentum in the economy. China's GDP rose 6.9 percent year on year in the first three quarters, the same with that of the first half and well above the full-year target of 6.5 percent.

The NBS said at the end of September that the country's factory activity was expanding at the fastest pace in more than five years, with the purchasing managers' index at 52.4.

The output changes of major industrial products were mixed. Crude steel output edged up 5.3 percent year on year in September, aluminum was down 5.6 percent, coal up 7.6 percent and crude oil processing volume up 12.7 percent. Power supply went up 5.3 percent from a year ago.

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