The recovery of China's industrial sector is picking up pace amid a steady rebound in domestic demand and a series of favorable government policies encouraging industrial production despite challenges and external uncertainties, officials and experts said.
The comments came after China's industrial output, a gauge of activity in manufacturing, mining and utilities, grew 4.4 percent in June from a year earlier after a 3.5 percent rise in May, figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Monday.
In the first half, industrial output grew 3.8 percent compared with the year-ago period, while in the first quarter, it rose by 3 percent from a year earlier, the NBS said.
Fu Linghui, an NBS spokesman, said China's industrial production saw a steady recovery in the first half, with the equipment manufacturing sector posting a relatively brisk expansion.
Fu said that among the 41 major industrial sectors, 26 maintained year-on-year growth in the first half. Output of equipment manufacturing recorded a year-on-year growth of 6.5 percent in the January-June period, 2.7 percentage points higher than that of overall industrial output.
The high-tech manufacturing sector continued to grow at a good clip, as industrial output in semiconductor equipment manufacturing, as well as electronic components and mechanical equipment manufacturing, jumped 30.9 percent and 46.5 percent year-on-year, respectively, during the period.
In addition, output of new energy industrial products, such as lithium-ion batteries, charging piles and photovoltaic cells during the period, increased by 46.4 percent, 53.1 percent and 54.5 percent year-on-year, respectively.
Zhou Maohua, an analyst with China Everbright Bank, said the recovery of industrial production accelerated in June, mainly due to the expansion of domestic demand and a series of pro-growth policies that helped drive recovery of the industrial economy.
Zhou estimates that the country's industrial rebound will likely pick up pace this year, though more efforts are needed to provide support and assistance for manufacturers and bolster their digital and intelligent transformation while stabilizing foreign trade growth so as to further spur domestic demand and consolidate the foundations of economic recovery.
Pan Helin, co-director of the Digital Economy and Financial Innovation Research Center at Zhejiang University's International Business School, said China's industrial economy is expected to maintain growth momentum in the second half, and investment in high-end manufacturing has also remained in expansionary territory.
Pan said that emerging industries, enterprises' digital transformation and digital infrastructure have become new engines bolstering growth of the industrial economy.
More efforts should be made to step up policy support, such as tax reduction, land use and electricity supply for advanced manufacturing enterprises to alleviate their pressure and guide capital to flow into the manufacturing sector, he added.
The high-tech manufacturing sector has become an important driver of China's economic growth, said Li Dongsheng, founder and chairman of consumer electronics maker TCL Technology Group Corp.
Li urged Chinese enterprises to continuously pool more resources into indigenous R&D, achieve breakthroughs in key technologies and enhance self-independent innovation capacities.