Saturday, 19 January 2013

China's economy accelerates in fourth quarter

Friday brought signs that China's economy stabilised in the fourth quarter of 2012, growing 7.9 percent from a year earlier, up from 7.4 percent in the third quarter and ending seven straight quarters of slowing growth.

For December, industrial production grew 10.3 percent from the previous year, the fastest pace since March, while retail sales grew 15.2 percent, accelerating from 14.9 percent in November.

Fixed-asset investment for the whole of 2012 rose 20.6 percent, slightly down from the 20.7 percent gain in the first 11 months of the year.

Another report from China on Friday showed that new home prices rose in December in 54 of 70 cities the government tracks, the most in 20 months.

Elsewhere, though, the economic data were not as positive.

In the UK, retail sales fell 0.1 percent in December. Retail sales between October and December fell 0.6 percent compared to the previous three months, the biggest fall since August 2011.

In the US, the preliminary January reading of the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment showed a drop to 71.3, the lowest since December 2011, from 72.9 the prior month.

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