Money Daily Brief: China's economy growing faster

Employees work at a textile factory in Rizhao in China's Shandong Province. Chinese industrial output grew faster than expected in August, suggesting its recovery is accelerating.

– Updated 12:18 EDT (16:18 UTC)

Reawakened dragon: A quickening recovery by China is stoking a wider regional turnaround as new figures showed its industrial production rose at a faster pace than forecast in August. Asian markets were cheered., led by a 2.2 percent gain on the Shanghai composite index. But Japan's economy grew less than initially estimated, with data showing its gross domestic product expanded at an annual 2.3 percent rate in the second quarter, slower than the 3.7 percent reported last month.

Mixed bag for Morgan: A judge who convicted a former Morgan Stanley banker on nine counts of insider dealing in a landmark case for Hong Kong regulators sharply criticized the Wall Street bank for compliance lapses that allowed the trading to take place. Markets, meanwhile, digested news of a changing of the guard at the brokerage, with Co-president James Gorman set to take over from CEO John Mack in January.

Doing good down under: Australia, the only major western economy to avoid recession, is set for another boost with US oil firm Chevron's agreement on $60 billion (Australian; US$51.9 billion) in deals to supply natural gas to Japan and South Korea from its Gorgon project in Australia, making it a leading liquefied natural gas player in the region.

•US consumers: Their mood improved to its highest level since June, according to a survey of shoppers' sentiment. Separately, US wholesalers cut their inventories to their lowest level in nearly three years, a sign they will need to restock soon.

In my backyard: A long-awaited report into the collapse of Rover, the last British-owned mass market carmaker, revealed that five executives involved in its 2000 takeover enriched themselves with £42 million ($70.1 million) in pay and pensions as the troubled firm headed for insolvency five years later. Separately, the future of two existing car plants in the United Kingdom remains in doubt following the sale of General Motors’ European business – including Vauxhall in the UK and Opel in Germany – to Canada's Magna International and Russia’s Sberbank.

Ben Quinn is a Monitor correspondent in London. For a look at China's attempts to grow its consumer market, see this Monitor exclusive: Chinese firms' new challenge: Sell to Chinese.

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