Chances of a 'double dip' in doubt

By Wang Xing (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-07-21 09:26
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Chances of a 'double dip' in doubt

BEIJING - China's top industrial regulator said on Tuesday that the country is unlikely to see a "double dip" in its economy in the second half of this year.

But it said China's factory output will witness a "moderate" slowdown in the following months, which will help restructure China's economy.

According to Zhu Hongren, a spokesman for the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), in the second half of this year, China will focus on stabilizing economic policy and consolidating the economic recovery plan.

"We don't think there will be a double dip problem in the second half," said Zhu. "China's industrial output may still grow more than 11 percent this year."

According to figures from the National Bureau of Statistics, China's industrial output fell to 13.7 percent in June from 16.5 percent in May, raising concerns of a slowing recovery in the Chinese economy.

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However, Zhu said the pace of the slowdown is "appropriate" and was mainly due to a lower base in the same period of last year as well as the government's active policy controls.

"Generally speaking, the slowdown of the industrial sector is moderate. It is good for industrial restructuring," he said.

Industrial output is a key component of a country's economic growth, especially for countries like China whose nominal gross domestic product relies heavily on production and manufacturing.

In the second quarter, China's economic growth slowed to 10.3 percent over a year earlier, down from 11.9 percent in the first quarter.

Zhu also said on Tuesday that the Chinese exporters may face uncertain markets abroad as Europe's debt crisis cuts demand in a key Chinese market.

Labor costs in coastal regions have risen between 20 percent and 25 percent in the first half of this year, which will partially reduce the competitiveness of made-in China products in overseas markets, according to Zhu.

MIIT also said that the country had 25.2 million users of third-generation (3G) mobile wireless technology at the end of June, up from 18.08 million at the end of March.