China's retail sales jumped 13.4% in August from a year before, improving on July's year-on-year gain of 13.2% and pointing to a robust consumer sector. The August gain is the largest so far this year.
Strong production and sales figures out of China pointing to a firming economy lifted shares across Asia on Tuesday. The Nikkei climbed 1.54% to 14,423.36, the Hang Seng rose 0.99% to 22.976.65, the Kospi added 0.98% to 1,994.06 and the S&P/ASX ended the day 0.38% higher at 5,201.20.
A string of strong economic numbers in China in combination with moderate inflation paint an encouraging near-term picture for the nation's economy, allowing room for stimulus if needed, analysts say. As a result, Merrill Lynch said it is maintaining its 7.6% year-on-year growth forecast for the third quarter and 7.5% for the fourth quarter.
India's merchandise exports jumped 12.97% in August from a year before while imports eased 0.68%. The new numbers are expected to provide support for the recently sliding rupee and relieve some worries over a nagging current-account deficit. "We are closing the trade gap," declared India's trade minister, Anand Sharma.
New lending by Chinese financial institutions in August came to 711.3 billion yuan, up from 699.9 billion yuan in July, while M2 money supply rose 14.7% from a year before. The M2 growth represented a gain from the 13.5% of a year before and July's 14.5%.
China's industrial production rose 10.4% on year in August, accelerating from July's 9.7%. Analysts said the latest result improves the odds that China will meet this year's target of 7.5% growth in gross domestic product. "Overall, these data are very strong. Growth in the third and fourth quarters will sustain a modest recovery," said HSBC economist Ma Xiaoping.