The latest quarterly data report from the National Bureau of Statistics showed China's gross domestic product rising 9.5% y/y during the second quarter -- a touch above market expectations of 9.4% -- while the key industrial output growth indicator surged 15.1% y/y in June, far outpacing both May's 13.3% reading and the market's expectation of a 13.1% rise.
The second quarter data report followed Saturday's announcement that consumer inflation rose 6.4% y/y in June, the highest level in three years and a harbinger of yet another move on interest rates this year, some analysts believe.
"Inflation is still the most important concern, and there will be at least one more interest rate by the end of this year, with one as soon as August," said Mizuho Securities economist Shen Jianguang, reports IMarketnews.com
China's steelmakers produce half the world's steel and the government has long been pushing industry leaders to consolidate and add value to an energy-sapping sector where unbridled production has often resulted in turf battles and volatile prices.
However, the drive to cut capacity--a regular feature in industrial policy--isn't expected to deliver much results among provincial governments that depend on mill revenues.
"The best way to reduce output is to reduce power," Liu said, referring to electricity shortages that are expected to worsen this summer.
Government data on Wednesday also showed domestic iron ore production in June rose 27% to 124 million tons. Output in the first half rose 22% to 575 million tons, informs Wall Street Journal.
While production in China continues to grow, it's still not keeping pace with demand, said Michael Creed, an agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank, says Bloomberg.