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4/13/2009 BEIJING/TOKYO-- China’s economy is showing some signs of improvement, but a big fall in wholesale prices in Japan suggested the world’s second-largest economy was sliding back toward deflation.

A jump in China’s industrial output last month, along with a record rise in new lending, gave further credence to the idea that the bottom of the worst global crisis since the Great Depression may not be far away. The solid data lifted the Chinese yuan, as well as stocks and copper prices in Shanghai, leading Asian equities higher.

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