China's economy shakes off COVID slump

China continued to shake off its COVID-19 slump on Monday (November 16).

Factory output in the world's second largest economy rose faster than expected in October, with industrial production climbing 6.9% from a year earlier.

The gains beat the 6.5% rise expected in a Reuters poll of analysts.

China's industrial sector has staged an impressive turnaround from the pandemic.

It's been helped by resilient exports.

But also good news at home too.

Consumers are opening up their wallets again in a further boost to activity.

The improved appetite for spending was seen with China's auto sales growing 12.5% in October.

With demand surging particularly for electric vehicles.

Global markets cheered the news.

European shares rose in morning trade, hovering near nine-month highs.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was up around 0.7% in early deals, with banks and travel stocks gaining the most.

Hong Kong stocks closed higher after the upbeat data, as well as news of the establishment of a China-backed trade bloc.

China's consistent run of good data since the second quarter has prompted speculation the central bank may start to tighten policy.

But analysts say policymakers are unlikely to rush winding down existing stimulus.

That's partly due to persistent uncertainties about the pandemic and global demand.