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China's GDP up 9.9% in Jan.-Sept. period, CPI up 4.6% in Sep
Latest Updated at 2008-October-21 10:40:56
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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 (Oct 20).

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.

Prof. Song Guoqing with the China Economic Research Center of Peking University, said the impressive growth might be partly due to the increase in farmers' incomes and effect of the Beijing Olympics.

However, Deng Yusong with the research institute of market economy of the Development Research Center of the State Council, thought the figure was not so upbeat as inflationary factor had yet to be deducted.

Zhuang Jian, an economist with the Asian Development Bank, said it was difficult to maintain a strong growth in consumption, as Chinese tended to save more for retirement, medical services and education. To boost consumption would be a long-term mission.

To keep a stable and rapid economic development in the fourth quarter, China would adopt a flexible and prudent macro-control policy, according to the State Council, or the Cabinet.

Related:

China's CPI rises 4.6% in Sept.

China's consumer price index (CPI),the main gauge of inflation, rose 4.6 percent in September over the same period last year, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Monday (Oct 20).

The figure, compared with 7.1 percent in June, 6.3 percent in July, 4.9 percent in August and a nearly 12-year-high of 8.7 percent in February, was broadly in line with most forecasts.

In the first nine months of this year, the inflation indicator rose 7.0 percent from the same period last year: 6.7 percent for urban areas and 7.7 percent for the countryside. The growth rate was 0.9 percentage points lower than that in the first half.

Food prices, which account for more than a third of the CPI calculation, rose 17.3 percent during the January to September period.

Zhuang Jian, an Asian Development Bank (ADB) economist said: "The figure indicated the government's measures to tame inflationary were effective, and the country's inflation pressure has been greatly eased."

An official with Ministry of Commerce who declined to be named told Xinhua that the declining CPI growth was within the government's expectation, and it was likely to continue a declining momentum in the future.

Despite a drop in the CPI growth, 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.

Meanwhile, the purchaser prices for raw materials, fuel and power rose 12.4 percent in the first nine months. The growth rate was 8.6 percentage points higher than a year earlier.

"Surging fuel and raw material prices in the world markets had pushed up domestic prices through a chain effect. Oil price, for example, rose almost 50 percent than that at the beginning of the year," Zhuang said.

"However, the PPI rise is expected to slow down in the coming months as world fuel price drop. It would not immediately increase pressure on the CPI," he added.

Yao Jingyuan, chief economist of the bureau, said price falls in consecutive five months had given the government more leverage to implement economic control, expand domestic demand and loose price control on resources materials.

"Since inflation pressure has been greatly eased, the country should be cautious about a weakening economic growth," said Li Xiaochao, spokesman with the bureau.

The NBS said on Monday morning that China's gross domestic product (GDP) grew 9.9 percent year on year to 20.163 trillion yuan (2.96 trillion U.S. dollars) in the first three quarters of this year.

The growth rate was 2.3 percentage points lower than the same period of last year, or 0.5 percentage points lower than the first half of this year.

Zuo Xiaolei, China Galaxy Securities chief economist, said the country should consider moderately easing the tightened economic policy and focus its efforts on maintaining a fast economic development.

In recent months, most of China's economic figures indicated that the country's economy has cooled down, led by both domestic policies and the ebbing world economy.

China's foreign trade, in particular, was affected by a weakening international demand. Earlier figure from China Customs showed the country's export was 1.07 trillion U.S. dollars in the first three quarters, up 22.3 percent over the same period last year, but the growth rate was 4.8 percentage lower year on year.

"China has to upgrade its economic growth structure--export can hardly grow fast in the near future -- it is the right time for the government to boost domestic demand and stimulate consumption," Zuo said.

"Considering the poor people are more prone to spend their money when incomes increased, the policy makers should increase incomes and improve lives of this kind of people," she said.

Zhao Jinping, an economist, suggested China should increase prices of farm products and increase income of farmers, while improving social insurance system covering education, medical treatment, and aged treatment.

Editor: 寮犺幑

By: Source: China View website

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