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China industrial output growth at 17-month high

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BEIJING, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- China's industrial production gained traction in August with its value-added output expanding at its fastest pace in 17 months, according to official data released Tuesday.

A National Bureau of Statistics statement said the country's total industrial value-added output grew by 10.4 percent year on year last month, up 0.7 percentage points over July and marking the fastest growth since April 2012.

Output in the first eight months surged 9.5 percent compared with a year earlier, and output increased 0.93 percent in August over July, the statement said.

Industrial value-added output measures the final output value of industrial production, or the value of gross industrial output minus intermediate input, such as raw materials and labor costs.

The NBS data only shows the output of large Chinese companies with annual revenues above 20 million yuan (3.25 million U.S. dollars).

The figures also showed that industrial output in China's western regions increased by 12.9 percent, 11.4-percent growth in central areas and 9.3 percent in the eastern regions.

The output for the electricity, gas and water sectors surged 12.5 percent, the manufacturing industry's output added 10.9 percent and that for mining increased 5.8 percent last month, the statement said.

The strong industrial growth added to evidence that China's economy is is moving out of the shadows of a protracted slowdown.

China's economic growth eased to 7.5 percent in the second quarter of 2013 from 7.7 percent in the first quarter and 7.9 percent in the final quarter of 2012.

A series of economic barometers has pointed to a strengthening economy.

The country's purchasing managers' index for the manufacturing sector rose to 51 percent in August, the highest level this year, data from China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing showed.

NBS said Monday that China's producer price index, which measures inflation at wholesale level, fell 1.6 percent in August from the same month last year. The pace of decrease has eased for three straight months.

The country is also witnessing recovering external demand as China's exports rose 7.2 percent year on year in August, up 2.1 percentage points from the increase in July.

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