Production at China's factories, workshops and mines rose 9.6% in October compared with the same month last year, government data showed Friday.

The result, reported by the National Bureau of Statistics, was stronger than September's gain of 9.2% and represents a further sign of strength in the world's second-largest economy.

Industrial output also increased 10% for the first 10 months of this year compared with the same period last year, the statistics bureau said.

The data come as China's economy grew 7.4% in the three months through the end of September, its weakest performance in more than three years and the seventh straight quarter of slowing expansion.

But improvements in some recent indicators such as manufacturing and trade have led to optimism that the worst of China's slowdown may be over.

Retail Sales Climb 14.5%

Also Friday, the statistics bureau said retail sales, China's main gauge of consumer spending, rose 14.5% year on year in October.

And fixed-asset investment rose 20.72% in the first 10 months of 2012, compared with the same period last year, the bureau said.

Fixed-asset investment is a key measure of government spending on infrastructure in China.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012