BEIJING, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- China's value-added industrial output, an important economic indicator, expanded 5.7 percent year on year in 2019, slowing from the 6.2 percent growth in 2018, official data showed Friday.
The growth rate was higher than that in the first 11 months of 2019, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
In December alone, China's industrial output expanded 6.9 percent year on year, up 0.7 percentage points from November.
The sub-index for production of China's purchasing managers' index gained 0.6 points to 53.2 in December, the highest in 2019, which suggests the recovery of production activities, said Wen Bin, a researcher with China Minsheng Bank.
China's industrial output, officially called industrial added value, is used to measure the activity of large enterprises with annual business turnover of at least 20 million yuan (about 2.8 million U.S. dollars).
Ning Jizhe, head of the NBS, told a press conference that the country's major economic indicators posted positive changes in the fourth quarter of 2019. The industrial output grew 6 percent year on year from October to December, up one percentage point from the third quarter.
In a breakdown by ownership, the output of state-held enterprises climbed 4.8 percent in 2019, that of joint-stock companies went up 6.8 percent, and that of overseas-funded enterprises rose by 2 percent.
Private enterprises led the growth of industrial output, reporting a 7.7-percent growth in 2019.
The production and supply of electricity, thermal power, gas and water reported a year-on-year increase of 7 percent in 2019, the fastest among the three major sectors, which also include mining and manufacturing.
Manufacturing output rose 6 percent year on year, while mining output rose 5 percent, the NBS said.
Thirty-three of the 41 sectors monitored by the NBS recorded increasing output in December, with electrical machinery and equipment manufacturing as well as automobile manufacturing maintaining fast expansion.
Industrial structure continued to improve last year, reporting an annual industrial capacity utilization rate of 76.6 percent, up 0.1 percentage points from a year earlier, Ning said.
He also noted China strengthened innovation last year, seeing the expansion of new impetus and new industries. Production in high-tech manufacturing industries and strategic emerging industries expanded by 8.8 percent and 8.4 percent, respectively.