A worker sprays lacquer on steel in a factory in Rizhao, in east China's Shandong province. Photo: AFP

After grinding to a halt in the summer, there are traces of a private sector recovery in China, with capital expenditure appearing stable as the year-end draws near.

Overall fixed asset investment (FAI) during the first 11 months of 2016 rose 8.3%, which is in line with the average predicted by economists polled by Bloomberg.

Private capex growth edged higher to 3.1% for the first 11 months, higher by 0.2 percentage from the monthly reading at the end of October as a result of slightly larger investments from the manufacturing community.

Nevertheless, expenditure from the public sector remains the main workhorse, accounting for nearly all of the headline FAI growth after expanding 20.2% year-over-year.

Infrastructure spending, predominantly spearheaded by regional governments, grew by 18.9% to 10.6 trillion yuan. It makes up nearly 20% of national FAI.

Lackluster growth investment from the private sector, which accounts for over 60% of the 53.9 trillion yuan invested so far this year, remains a key policy challenge for 2017.