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China urban fixed-asset investment up 33.5% in H1
Updated: 2009-07-16 10:22

BEIJING -- China's fixed-asset investment surged in the first half of this year as the world's third largest economy increases spending on factories, property, roads and other facilities to counter falling exports and fuel the economic growth.

China's fixed-asset investment in the first half year rose 33.5 percent from a year earlier to 9.132 trillion yuan (US$1.34 trillion), the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced Thursday.

The figure is 7.2 percentage points higher than the same period of last year, said NBS spokesman Li Xiaochao at a press conference in Beijing.

Urban fixed-asset investment climbed 33.6 percent in the first half year to 7.81 trillion yuan, compared with a 32.9 percent growth in the first five months of this year. June alone recorded a 35.3 percent advance in urban fixed-asset investment.

Among urban fixed-asset investment, the growth rate in the primary sector (farming, fishing and forestry, among others) jumped 68.9 percent from a year ago.

The industrial sector saw investment rise 29.0 percent and the tertiary sector, or the third industry which covers commerce, finance and services, posted a 36.6 percent growth.

Zhang Hanya, director of the Research Institute of Investment under the National Development and Reform and Commission, told Xinhua Thursday that the surge in fixed-asset investment was mainly a result of increased spending backed by the central and local governments. It added to the evidence that the government's measures to boost economy had taken effect, he added.

China unveiled a four-trillion-yuan stimulus packages in November to accelerate its economic growth which slowed to 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter of last year and 6.1 percent in the first quarter of this year because of a tumble in exports.

Exports declined 21.8 percent in the first six months from a year earlier because of a slump in overseas demand.

Zhang expected fixed-asset investment would continue its growth momentum in the second half of this year and further provide a boost to the country's economy, which targeted about an 8 percent growth for the whole year.

He noted that a fast and sustainable growth of the fixed-asset investment also demands private spending, which, however, was dented by difficult access to bank loans.

China's central bank said Wednesday that 7.37 trillion yuan of new bank loans were extended in the first half of the year, 4.92 trillion yuan more than in the same period a year ago, to echo the moderately ease monetary policy to support the economic revival.

Zhang said large enterprises, especially state-owned enterprises in monopolistic sectors, had easy access to bank loans, while it was hard for medium- and- small sized enterprises (SMEs) to raise fund for investment.

He warned lower threshold for market entry of fixed-asset investment in some regions as spending on infrastructures rose fast.

He suggested government departments to intensify monitoring project construction and production activities so as to prevent misconduct in investment approval and irregularities in construction and product on from impeding the realization of the country's goal of energy conservation and emission cut, work safety and long-term sustainable growth.

NBS figures show that fixed-asset investment in infrastructure (excluding the electric power sector) rose 57.4 percent year on year in the first six months. Investment in railways advanced 126.5 percent and up 54.7 percent for highways.