BEIJING, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- Stabilized demand from the three main drivers of China's economic growth -- fixed-asset investment, retail sales and foreign trade -- means industrial output expansion should remain at a relatively high pace, a leading economist said.
Since the third quarter of the year, fixed-asset investment, retail sales and net exports have all had a stable performance. Fixed-asset investment ended a downward trend to record a slight rebound, said Xu Pingsheng of the State Information Center, a top government think-tank.
Xu was quoted in a report published on Saturday in the Shanghai Securities News.
The rebound of fixed-asset investment, which is what is used to buy and build factories, machines, property and other fixed facilities, resulted from the end of deceleration of manufacturing investment growth and continuous rapid expansion of infrastructure investment, he said.
In the first eight months, China's fixed-asset investment amounted to 26.26 trillion yuan (4.27 trillion U.S. dollars), a year-on-year increase of 20.3 percent, which is 0.2 percentage point higher than the growth rate for the first seven months, according to Xu.
Retail sales in the first eight months rose 12.8 percent from a year earlier to 14.82 trillion yuan (2.42 trillion U.S. dollars), the same growth rate as the first seven months.
Foreign trade in the first eight months grew 8.3 percent from a year earlier to 16.87 trillion yuan (2.76 trillion U.S. dollars), 0.2 percentage point lower than for the first seven months.
As demand generated by fixed-asset investment, retail sales and foreign trade remains stable, growth of China's industrial added value continues to accelerate rapidly, Xu said.
In August, industrial added value grew 10.4 percent year on year, 0.7 percentage point higher than that for July and 1.5 percentage points more than June.
China uses industrial added value to measure business activities of designated large enterprises each with an annual turnover of at least 20 million yuan (3.25 million U.S. dollars). It is an important indicator to weigh China's industrial activities and the country's manufacturing-based economy.
Xu said growing demand and a better outlook would keep manufacturing activities relatively active. Firstly, Chinese government policies have been supporting growth. Secondly, overseas demand for Chinese goods has shown signs of improvement, as European and U.S. economies continued to recover.
Thirdly, encouraged by improving policy environment and growing demand, market sentiment is changing for the better, which could prompt enterprises to increase their stock, he added.
China is scheduled to release its third-quarter GDP on Oct. 18. Many economists like Xu expect growth of the world's second largest economy to pick up slightly from the second quarter. The Chinese economy grew 7.5 percent in the second quarter, down from 7.7 percent in the three months ending March 31.