China's industrial output growth dropped for the fifth straight month, to 5.4 per cent year-on-year in November – the slowest in nine years - the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said.
The growth rate was down 2.8 percentage points from October and 11.9 percentage points lower than a year earlier, as manufacturing output slumped with a drop in export demand and the property market slumped, according to the NBS.
China's industrial output grew at 8.2 per cent in October and at 11.4 per cent in September this year.
Among industry sectors, output for the textile industry rose 6.2 per cent, non-metal mineral sector by 11.6 per cent, equipment manufactures by 8.0 per cent and transport equipment producers by 3.6 per cent.
This has prompted warnings from Chinese President Hu Jintao that the country faced a "grim" jobs situation next year.
''Next year's employment situation, impacted by the global financial crisis, will be extremely grim," state media quoted Hu as saying during a visit to the north-eastern province of Liaoning.
He also called on all employment organisations to help those seeking jobs, so that social harmony and economic stability could be maintained.
Industry wise, output for raw chemicals and chemical products fell 3.3 per cent in November.
Production of coal and crude oil were down 5.2 per cent and 4.9 per cent respectively at 230 million tonnes and 15.86 million tonnes, respectively.
Power generation fell 9.6 per cent in November against a four per cent fall in October.
For the first 11 months of this year, however, industrial output jumped 13.7 per cent, against 14.4 per cent in the first 10 months and 18.5 per cent during the same period last year.
In November, China unveiled a number of measures aimed at maintaining and creating jobs, particularly among its floating rural workers, including providing financial aid to companies.
China's manufacturing output, which is heavily dependent on export markets, plunged the most with a big dent in the country's exports caused by a drying up of overseas markets.
While the government expects unemployment rate to be contained at 4.5 per cent this year, this is expected to go up in the by next year. Including the floating rural workforce, this could be substantially higher than projected, they say.