China’s factories speed up but new COVID pain hits retailers

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By Gabriel Crossley and Kevin Yao BEIJING (Reuters) -China’s factory output grew faster than expected in November, supported by stronger energy production and a moderation in sky-high materials costs, but new curbs to fight rising COVID-19 cases hit retailers in the world’s second-largest economy. The data, along with a slowdown in investment growth, underlines the persistent headwinds facing the economy, which have already prompted policymakers this month to ratchet up support. “The economy remained quite weak in November,” said Zhiwei Zhang, chief economist at Pinpoint Asset Management. “Dom…

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