The robust growth in China's industrial and retail sectors has defied expectations, with the uptick in industrial activity and spending indicating the effectiveness of government policies aimed at supporting domestic demand.
According to statistics released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Monday, the industrial sector grew by 6.2 percent last month, up 1.5 percentage points from October, while the retail sector grew by 8.0 percent, an increase of 0.8 percentage points on the month before.
Given the mounting external uncertainties associated with the trade war with the United States, and the internal challenges arising from the domestic transition to higher quality growth, the positive growth momentum is commendable, and can be credited to the government's resolute efforts to keep the economy on track.
Although the infrastructure and property sectors' growth remained lackluster in November — which would have been taken as a telling sign of the decline of the economy in previous years when investment was one of the most important drivers of growth — this is a result of the government's policy choices and its determination to refrain from resorting to quantitative easing stimulus measures, which would hurt the economy and embolden the governments of various levels to invade the market and create distortions.
True, the traditional year-end consumption spree has inevitably provided a boost for industrial growth and retail sales. Nonetheless, along with other positive signs, including the stable 2.4 percent growth in foreign trade over the past 11 months, the upbeat data demonstrate that the fundamentals of the economy remain healthy and are evolving on the right track in a predictable way.
The annual Central Economic Work Conference held in Beijing last week made clear that China will keep its economic policies stable to help achieve its target range for growth and upgrade its industries and consumption.
And with the development of the service industry, including education, childcare, elderly care, healthcare, culture and tourism, to be accelerated next year and people's spending power to be strengthened, domestic consumption will be able to better play its role of underpinning the economy.
At the same time, with China and the United States announcing on Friday they had agreed on the text to a phase one trade deal, which if realized would cool their 17-month trade war and ease the external pressure, the economic situation is expected to be more conducive to governments at all levels to adopt a comprehensive and holistic economic approach and advance the regional development strategies aimed at fostering new driving forces for higher-quality development.
The resilience of the economy and the clearheaded forward-looking helmsmanship demonstrated at last week's top economic work meeting suggest any pessimism about the performance of the Chinese economy next year will once again prove ill-considered.