China Leading Indicator Signals Fragile Rebound Heading Into ’13

A leading index for China’s economy rose at a slower pace in November, signaling limits on a growth rebound in the world’s second-biggest economy.

The gauge rose 1.1 percent from October to 248.5, the Conference Board, a New York-based research group, said in a statement today, citing a preliminary reading. That compared with a revised 1.6 percent gain the previous month.

A sustained pickup in growth may give more room for a new Communist Party leadership headed by Xi Jinping to step up market-driven changes to boost domestic demand and reduce the economy’s reliance on exports and investment spending. China’s industrial production and retail sales rose last month at the fastest pace since March, boosting the recovery from a seven- quarter slowdown.

“The sustainability of a broad based economic rebound still appears fragile heading into 2013,” said Andrew Polk, an economist with the Conference Board in Beijing.

China’s gross domestic product growth decelerated to 7.4 percent in the July-September period from a year earlier. GDP may expand 7.8 percent in the three months through December, based on the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News Dec. 13-18.

First published in May 2010, the Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index has successfully captured turning points in China’s economic cycles if plotted back to 1986, according to the group.

The index’s components, which include loans, a gauge of raw-material supplies, export orders, consumer expectations and floor space started, use data from the central bank and the National Bureau of Statistics.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Scott Lanman in Beijing at slanman@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Paul Panckhurst at ppanckhurst@bloomberg.net

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