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     BEIJING (MNI) - China's October industrial activities, investment and
consumption data were all weaker than expected, adding pressure for policymakers
to stabilize growth. A spokeswoman of the National Bureau of Statistics, faced
with a barrage of questions on the disappointing numbers, insisted that
short-term growth is supported by strong domestic consumption, especially
services, upgraded new and traditional industries, such as auto, and better
prospect of exports. 
     Sales of SUVs and MPVs are increasing, said Liu Aihua of NBS at a briefing
on Thursday. China is also registering greater foreign investment as it
continues to open up and optimize its trade environment, said Liu.
     Here are key points MNI highlights from the data:
     - Oct industrial output growth slowed to 4.7% y/y from 5.8% in Sept, less
than projected 5.4%.
     - Fixed-asset Investment recorded 5.2% in Jan-Oct, down from 5.4% in
Jan-Sept and underperforming the 5.4% median forecast.
     - Property investment in Jan-Oct slowed to 10.3% y/y from 10.5% in
Jan-Sept. Infrastructure investment gain also slowed to 4.2% y/y from 4.5%.
     - Retail sales in Oct rose 7.2% y/y, slower than 7.8% in Sept. It was the
smallest growth in six months, and short of expected 7.8%.
     - Registered urban unemployment rate declined by 0.1 pp to 5.1% in Oct from
Sept despite slowing growth. Liu said it was because the overall size of the
economy has increased, therefore each percentage point of growth generates more
jobs. The economy is becoming more service-driven, which also creates more jobs,
she said. Government policies promoting entrepreneurship and innovation also
helped, including opportunities for new grads, according to Liu.
     - Highlighting the challenges, Liu in her opening statement emphasized the
central government's push for "six stabilizing" including stabilizing
employment, finance, trade, foreign capital, investment, and expectations, and
added that overall economy and structural adjustment progress are both stable. 
--MNI Beijing Bureau; +86 (10) 8532-5998; email: