Booming economy sparks warning
Updated: 2006-04-20 17:33
China's booming economy grew 10.2 percent in the first quarter, picking up
from last year's already breakneck pace to spark a fresh warning the pursuit of
growth for its own sake could lead to problems.
Beijing shoppers. China's booming economy grew
10.2 percent in the first quarter, picking up from last year's already
breakneck pace to spark a fresh warning the pursuit of growth for its own
sake could lead to problems. [AFP]
expansion in the first three months, announced by the National Bureau of
Statistics, came on the back of massive increases in investment in factories,
bridges and other fixed assets.
NBS spokesman Zheng Jingping said the growth rate, after 9.9 percent last
year, was "relatively fast" but still within a normal range.
"It is fundamentally normal but it is at the upper end of the potential
growth range and we need to take note of it," Zheng told a press conference.
Fixed asset investment in the first quarter was up 27.7 percent from a year
earlier, the NBS said. That compared with 25.7 percent growth for all 2005.
Zheng said rapid growth in fixed asset investment and bank loans were
"prominent problems" that have to be addressed, echoing President Hu Jintao's
weekend warning on the risks of too high a growth rate.
"If the economy develops too fast because of naked pursuit of growth, we will
be punished by the laws of economics and the laws of nature," Zheng said.
"The lesson of big ups and downs is vivid in our minds and we should avoid
the one-sided and blind pursuit of speed."
President Hu is currently on a crucial US visit being dominated by China's
emergence as an economic powerhouse and the trade and currency issues being
thrown up as a result.
China's economy expanded 9.9 percent in 2005 and the
government, hoping to switch the focus to domestic consumption away from
exports, had earlier set a more modest goal of about 8.0 percent growth for