BUOYED by exceptionally robust demand, China's industrial value-added rose 24.3 per cent year-on-year in October. Hong Kong-based analysts said the rise confirmed the need to continue macroeconomic measures to cool the over-heated economy, which is forecast to grow by about 11.5 per cent this year. The figures showed that a rise in fixed-asset investment underlay the demand-pull expansion in value-added in the past few months. Value-added refers to the increase in value of an item at each stage of production. 'It's certain now that to tackle the rise in industrial value-added, the economic planners would have to tighten the taps for fixed-assets investment,' said Benny Chiu, a research manager at Hongkong Bank China Services. Total industrial value-added in October amounted to 142.6 billion yuan (about HK$129.05 billion). Growth in September was 21.8 per cent and in August 17.6 per cent over the corresponding months the previous year. Another analyst said the strong rise was inevitable compared with the previous year, when the impact of the government's 16-point austerity programme was at its most severe. Quoting figures from the State Statistical Bureau (SSB), the Chinese media said the value-added rise of state-owned and state-backed enterprises was 11.3 per cent, significantly higher than the monthly average of the past nine months. The rise in value-added in sectors such as energy and raw materials was consistent while the rises in the coal, fuel, power, steel, iron and non-ferrous sectors were exceptionally strong. Analysts said the latest figures revealed a stronger production to sales ratio, which indicates how much of what is produced is actually sold. The ratio in October rose 1.7 percentage points against the average in the past nine months, suggesting that inventory levels were slowly declining. 'It's good news that inventory in October is falling but it is still not falling fast enough,' said Mr Chiu. The SSB said cutting inventories and raising efficiency at state-owned enterprises were key tasks for this month and December.