China's Q3 GDP grows at slowest pace in 2 yrs

Updated: 2011-10-18 10:21


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BEIJING -- China's GDP expanded 9.1 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of the year, marking the slowest pace since the third quarter of 2009.

The growth rate was down from 9.5 percent in the second quarter of this year and 9.7 percent in the first quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Tuesday.

The slowdown was a desired outcome of China's macro-economic regulations as the government continued its efforts in curbing soaring property prices, reining in inflation and regulating local government financing vehicles, said Lian Ping, the chief economist with Bank of Communications.

Lian expected the country's GDP growth to remain above 9 percent this year.

China's economy expanded 2.3 percent on a quarterly basis in the July-September period, NBS spokesman Sheng Laiyun said at a press conference.

According to preliminary statistics, the country's GDP reached 32.07 trillion yuan ($5.01 trillion) in the first nine months, up 9.4 percent year-on-year, Sheng said.

He noted the country's economic performance was "generally good" and had developed according to macro-economic regulations in the first nine months.

Despite challenges and uncertainties both at home and abroad, it is likely that China's economy would maintain its stable and relatively fast growth in the coming period, boosted by a strong growth momentum, Sheng said.

He said there was an obvious trend of the country's economic development shifting from a stimulus policy-driven growth to a self-initiated mode.

Industrial value-added output rose 13.8 percent year-on-year in September, up from the 13.5 percent growth in August. Fixed assets investment rose 24.9 percent year-on-year in the first nine months, compared with a 25-percent gain in the January-August period.

In September, the country's retail sales expanded 17.7 percent from a year earlier, following an increase of 17 percent in August.

Sheng said the country's consumer price increase had been "preliminarily contained" as the growth of the consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, had fallen for two consecutive months.

It is quite likely that consumer price increase would continue to ease in the last quarter of the year, he said.

The government made curbing consumer prices a top priority in this year's macro-economic regulations and vowed to keep the annual growth of CPI at around 4 percent this year.

To mop up the excessive liquidity that helps fuel inflation, the government implemented a prudent monetary policy this year. The central bank has raised the benchmark interest rates three times this year and hiked the reserve requirement ratio for commercial banks six times.

The central bank may not relax the prudent monetary policy in the short term with the inflation rate still at a high level, said Liu Ligang, director of the economic research department of ANZ Greater China.

He added that the central bank is likely to enhance financial support for capital-strapped small and medium-sized enterprises.

"The country's economy is heading for a soft landing," Liu said.

Although exports would continue to moderate on weaker demand from developed economies, growth would still be supported by domestic demand, investment and consumption, he said.

Liu estimated the country's economic growth would stand at 9.4 or 9.5 percent this year.

FDI rises 16.6% in first nine months

China attracted $86.68 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first nine months of the year, up 16.6 percent year-on-year, the Ministry of Commerce said Wednesday.

Fixed assets investment up 24.9 percent in first nine months

China's fixed asset investment rose 24.9 percent year-on-year to 21.23 trillion yuan ($3.33 trillion) in the first nine months of the year. [Full story]

Retail sales up 17 percent in first nine months

China's retail sales grew 17 percent to 13.0811 trillion yuan ($2.05 trillion) in the first nine months from a year earlier. [Full stroy]

Incomes for urban, rural residents grow 13.7 percent in first nine months

The income of China's urban and rural residents continued to increase in the first nine months this year.

In the past three quarters, urban and rural residents' per-capita disposable income reached 16,301 yuan ($2,557), up 13.7 percent year-on-year. After deducting inflation, actual growth was 7.8 percent. [Full story]

Industrial value-added output up 13.8 percent in Sept

China's industrial value-added output grew 13.8 percent year-on-year in September. The figure was higher than the 13.5 percent annual growth in August.

In the first three quarters, industrial value-added output increased 14.2 percent year-on-year, down 0.1 percentage point from the first half of this year. [Full story]

More cities see slower property price increases in Sept

More cities reported a slowdown in year-on-year increases in property price in September as a result of government's tightening efforts to cool the market, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). [Full story]

Fiscal revenue rises 17.3% in Sept

The Ministry of Finance (MOF) said Tuesday that China's fiscal revenue in September rose 17.3 percent year-on-year to reach 737.7 billion yuan ($115.7 billion).

September's growth took the fiscal revenue in the first nine months to 8.16 trillion yuan, up 29.5 percent from a year ago, according to the ministry. [Full story]