CHINA's economy is growing hotter again as the latest government statistics indicate a dramatic surge in industrial output last month, according to official reports. The State Statistics Bureau (SSB) said China's industry had swiftly rebounded, with a growth of 29.8 per cent in December, up by about 11 percentage points from the previous month. The latest growth rate is close to the highest level in mid-1993 before overheating prompted the central Government to impose an austerity programme to cool the economy down. The SSB figures are yet another sign that the Chinese economy has been returning to high-speed growth after months of slowing down in the second half of last year. According to the China News Service (CNS), the relaxation of money supply in November injected new funds into enterprises that had suffered badly after Beijing launched the 16-point austerity programme in July. Many enterprises had to halt or slow down operations after the banks tightened loans and credit. The CNS said the new funds had helped those firms to speed up their operations again. It indicated that regions had also taken all possible steps to increase their industrial production in the face of the introduction of the new tax-sharing system. Under the new system, the amount of tax to be paid by the regions will be calculated on the basis of figures such as industrial output last year. The higher the base figures, the more tax the regions will be able to put in their own pockets under the newtax formula. The CNS said the rapid growth of industry was worrying. The excessive growth of industrial production was set to further strain the economic situation and intensify the imbalance between supply and demand in some ''bottleneck'' areas, such as transportation and energy resources, it said. It revealed that total industrial output last year grew 23.6 per cent - a record jump for the past 15 years. Remarkable growth had been recorded in the non-state sector. Industrial output in coastal provinces including Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, Shandong, Guangdong and Hainan grew over 30 per cent - a higher rate than achieved by provinces in the hinterland. The CNS quoted senior economics officials as warning that the sharp rebound of the national economy in the next few months might lead to more overheating. A relatively tighter money supply was needed to prevent the national economy from overheating again, they said. Noting that this year was a year of reform, the CNS said some hidden elements of instability might be aggravated, creating new obstacles to reform. The economists spoke against the ''blind pursuit of an excessively high speed of growth''. Instead, the intensity of the readjustment of the industrial structure should be quickened to ensure the ''appropriate and healthy development of industry'', the CNS said.