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China's GDP up 9.9% in January-September Period
2008/10/21

China's gross domestic product (GDP) grew to 20.16 trillion yuan (2.96 trillion U.S. dollars) in the first three quarters of this year, up 9.9 percent from the same period of last year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Monday.

The growth rate was 2.3 percentage points lower than the same period of last year, and half a percentage point lower than the first half.

The GDP growth was 10.6 percent for the first quarter, 10.1 percent for the second quarter and 9 percent for the third quarter, the bureau said.

NBS chief economist Yao Jingyuan said the GDP growth for the January-September period was still higher than the 9.8-percent average for the past three decades.

Given the ongoing global economic slowdown, China's GDP growth for the first three quarters "is a hard-earned achievement", said Yao. "It was achieved on the basis of the current macro-control efforts."

The total GDP for the period included 2.18 trillion yuan generated by the primary sector, up 4.5 percent, 10.11 trillion yuan by the secondary sector (including manufacturing and construction), up 10.5 percent, and 7.87 trillion yuan by the tertiary sector (mainly services), up 10.3 percent.

The growth rate for the primary sector was 0.2 percentage points higher than the same period last year, but that for the secondary sector was down 3 percentage points and the tertiary sector down 2.4 percentage points.

Li Xiaochao, the NBS spokesman, noted that the 9.9 percent growth was achieved on a large economic volume.

The fundamentals of the Chinese economy remained good, said Li. This was marked by stable and rapid economic growth, falling consumer prices, a generally optimized industrial structure and improved economic operation.

From January to September, fixed assets investment amounted to 11.62 trillion yuan nationwide, up 27 percent on the same period of last year. The growth rate was 1.3 percentage points higher.

The total included 9.99 trillion yuan in urban areas, up 27.6 percent, and 1.64 trillion yuan in rural areas, up 23.3 percent. The growth rates were 1.2 percentage points and 2.1 percentage points, respectively, higher than the figure for the same period last year.

The consumer price index, or CPI, went up 7 percent in the first nine months. The growth rate was 2.9 percentage points higher, but down 0.9 percentage points from the first half.

The major inflation measurement showed a 4.6 percent rise in September, 0.3 percentage points lower than the previous month. The rate of growth has fallen for five consecutive months since May.

However, the producer price index (PPI), which measures the value of finished products when they leave the factory, rose 8.3 percent in the first nine months, said the bureau. The growth rate was 5.6 percentage points higher than the same period last year.

In September alone, the PPI rose 9.1 percent over the same month a year earlier. The growth rate was one percentage point lower than the record 10.1 percent in August.

Li said the economic restructuring had proceeded well. In the first three quarters, high-energy-consuming sectors realized an output growth of 13.2 percent, down 6.4 percentage points, while the high-tech manufacturing sector posted a growth of 16.5 percent in value-added output, 1.3 percentage points higher than the average for all major manufacturers.

Meanwhile, western and central regions outperformed the eastern areas in terms of production and investment growth, he added.

From January to August, industrial enterprises each with an annual sales income of at least 5 million yuan chalked up a total profit increase of 19.4 percent.

The per-capita pure income of rural residents was 3,971 yuan, up 11 percent in real terms, and the per-capita disposable income of urbanites was 11,865 yuan, up 7.5 percent in real terms, Li added.

According to NBS, China's foreign trade stood at 1.97 trillion U.S. dollars in the first three quarters, up 25.2 percent on the same period of last year. The growth rate was 1.7 percentage points higher than the year-earlier level. The total included 1.07trillion dollars in export value, up 22.3 percent, and 893.1 billion dollars in import value, up 29percent. The growth rate for the export value was 4.8 percentage points lower, whereas that for the import value was 9.9 percentage points higher.

Foreign direct investment totaled 74.4 billion U.S. dollars in the first nine months, representing an increase of 39.9 percent, 29 percentage points higher.

Li Xiaochao said as China had opened wider to the outside world and been related to other economies more closely, it was increasingly affected by economies abroad. Preliminary calculations showed external cargo and service trade contributed 12.5 percent to China's GDP growth in the first three quarters, down 8.9 percentage points.

Consumption seemed more impressive, as retail sales gained 22 percent to 7.79 trillion yuan in the nine-month period. The total included 5.32 trillion yuan in urban areas, up 22.7 percent, and 2.47 trillion yuan in rural areas, up 20.6 percent.

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