BEIJING & SHANGHAI, China (AP) - China's industrial production rose 18.1 percent in May from the same month last year, powered by ample funding and strong export demand, the government reported Thursday.
The increase was above expectations for about a 17 percent rise and compares with a 17.4 percent gain in April.
China’s steel exports, a sore spot with its trade partners, were down from April, but up 77 percent over May 2006.
Exports of rolled steel totaled 6.2 million tons, the official Xinhua News Agency said, citing the customs agency.
Steel exports for the first five months of the year totaled 27.5 million tons, up 117 percent from the year-earlier period, Xinhua said.
China's roaring economy shows little sign of slowing, judging from the most recent economic data, and authorities are expected to respond with more measures to slow investment and cool inflation.
Inflation rose to its highest level in more than two years in May, with the benchmark consumer price index up by 3.4 percent, driven by soaring prices for pork and other food.
Authorities are pledging more efforts to control growth.
The State Council, China's Cabinet, issued a statement late Wednesday saying it will use financial and tax policies to control the flood of money washing through the economy.
''We will maintain prudent fiscal and monetary policies,'' the State Council said in a statement on the central government's Web site, adding that ''monetary policy should be appropriately tightened while kept stable, fostering stable, relatively fast economic growth.''
Between January and May, industrial output rose 18.1 percent from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement.
Beijing has pledged to curb growth in the country's trade surplus, which surged 73 percent year-on-year in May to $22.5 billion.
It also is seeking to curb surging investment in property and factory equipment - viewed as a key barometer of future growth. Data on such investments is due for release Friday. So far this year, the figures have remained stubbornly high, with so-called fixed asset investment rising 25.3 percent in January-May from a year earlier.
The central bank has raised reserve requirement ratio for banks eight times since July 2006, with the latest increase, effective June 5, bringing the ratio for most banks to 11.5 percent. It also raised benchmark lending and deposit rates in May, the second increase this year.
Last month, China also tripled the stamp duty rate on share transactions to 0.3 percent, aiming to cool soaring stock prices.