China's industrial output expanded at 7.2 percent year on year in the first two months, accelerating from 6.2 percent growth in December 2017, official data showed Wednesday.
The growth was faster than the 6.3 percent growth during the same period last year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in a statement.
Industrial structure continued to improve, with production in high-tech industries and the equipment manufacturing sector expanding by 11.9 percent and 8.4 percent, respectively.
Industrial output, officially called industrial value added, is used to measure the activity of designated large enterprises with annual turnover of at least 20 million yuan (about 3 million U.S. dollars).
Output of new energy vehicles saw a surge of 178.1 percent year on year during the period, while industrial robot production jumped by 25.1 percent, NBS data showed.
While such rapid growth was partly due to a low comparable base, it indicated that emerging sector expansion is accelerating, according to NBS spokesperson Mao Shengyong.
The mining sector grew by a modest 1.6 percent year on year, lagging behind the 7-percent growth achieved by the manufacturing sector.
Amid the drive to restructure and optimize industry, the country aims to reduce overcapacity in traditional sectors such as coal, iron, and steel while facilitating growth in emerging areas.
China plans to cut ineffective steel capacity of 30 million tonnes and coal capacity of 150 million tonnes in 2018, according to a government work report released earlier this month.
Ownership analysis showed that industrial output of state-holding enterprises was up 9 percent, while industrial output of enterprises funded by overseas investors increased 5.9 percent.
NBS data also showed that China's retail sales of consumer goods grew 9.7 percent year on year in the first two months, slightly slower than the 10.2-percent rise seen in 2017.
Fixed-asset investment grew 7.9 percent year on year during the period, up from 7.2 percent for the full year of 2017.