The National Bureau of Statistics in China recorded a rise in industrial output of 8.9 percent last month, higher than the median forecast of 7.5 percent growth. The increase follows the 7.3 percent rise in April. Chinese retail sales for May also increased above forecasted figures to 15.2 percent, following a rise in April of 14.8 percent, suggesting that the government's US$585 billion stimulus package is working. China's positive performance over the past couple of months have sparked hopes that the global economy will follow, particularly for Australian exporters that have seen an upswing in demand from the Asian giant. Japan also recorded a rise in industrial output, 5.9 percent in April, with May figures yet to be released.