Chinese economy remains in 'good shape'

By Xiao Xin (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-07-28 08:31

The Chinese economy remains in good shape despite some problems that appeared as the economy soared in the first half of this year, top Chinese officials said.

China's gross domestic product (GDP) grew 11.9 percent in the second quarter and 11.5 percent in the first six months of 2007.

But Ma Kai, minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, said that more efforts have been made this year to ensure that the economy grows in a sound and stable manner.

The commission announced on Friday that the central government had contributed a further 10 billion yuan ($1.32 billion) to the drive to promote energy saving and cut pollutant emissions. It also increased investment in agriculture and stabilizing pork prices.

The State has also taken a series of measures to rein in investment, slow down exports, increase imports and reduce liquidity, which has pushed up the prices of assets.

As a result, positive signs have emerged that point to more balanced economic development.

The economic structure, which has leant towards industry and investment, has improved as the service sector grows and consumption rises.

In addition, the competitiveness of Chinese firms has been improved as a result of technological upgrading.

The profit-making capacity of Chinese enterprises is also on the rise. Major industrial enterprises raked in a total of 900 billion yuan ($118.9 billion) in profit in the first five months of this year, up 42.1 percent year-on-year.

Chinese farmers reaped a hard-won harvest this summer despite severe natural disasters, such as heavy rainfalls.

Energy efficiency is also improving, while energy consumption per unit of GDP is continuing to fall, as is the emission of pollutants.

Xie Fuzhan, director of the National Bureau of Statistics, said the economy is generally in good shape, as its quality is improving and people benefit more from economic growth.

The economic growth rate should not be the only factor for judging the soundness of the economy, he said. A comprehensive method should be adopted that looks at the economy from such perspectives as improvements in employment, economic quality, structure and people's living standards, added Xie.

Although consumer prices are rising strongly, they have been driven mainly by rising food prices, which are also a victim of international grain price rises.

Analysts said that as domestic supply is growing rapidly, food prices would not continue to rise.

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