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China's GDP grows 6.1% in first quarter
By Zhang Ran (
Updated: 2009-04-16 10:54

China's GDP rose 6.1 percent year on year in the first quarter, 4.5 percentage points falling from the same period of last year, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday.

The consumer price index (CPI), a measurement of inflation, in the first quarter of 2009 fell an annualized 0.6 percent, and the producer price index also registered a negative growth of 4.6 percent.

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The CPI fell 1.2 percent year-on-year in March alone.

However, added value of large-scale industries rose in 2009 first quarter, up 5.1 percent from a year earlier. The index in March increased 8.3 percent year-on-year.

Fixed-asset investment in 2009 first quarter rose 28.8 percent from a year earlier period, while retail sales rose 15 percent in the first quarter and 14.7 percent in March.

Analysts said that negative CPI and PPI figures may raise concern about deflation, but the overall economic picture still looks promising.

"Overall, the picture clearly show an uptrend in China's economy," Sun Mingchun, economist with Nomura Japanese Equity Research, said.

Economic data released over the past few weeks showed that economic activities are gaining momentum. These indicators include industrial production, the official PMI, electricity output, residential property sales, fixed-asset investment, exports, bank lending and money supply growth. What's more, the stock market has remained robust.

"We shouldn't be too concerned about the weak GDP date because it is backward looking. We believe the worst is already behind China in terms of economic growth," Sun said.

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