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China GDP grows 7.1% in first half '09
Updated: 2009-07-16 10:31

The gross domestic product (GDP) grew 7.1 percent from the same period a year ago to 13.99 trillion yuan (US$2.06 trillion) in the first half, as massive government spending and record lending helped the economy rebound from the worst growth in a decade.

Chinese economy expanded 7.9 percent year on year in the second quarter, said Li Xiaochao, spokesperson with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) at a press conference.

Analysts said it adds confidence that China will achieve the full-year growth target of eight percent.

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The world's third largest economy tumbled to 6.1 percent in the first quarter as exports shrank to a decade low.

Li said positive factors are increasing as the economy is on the road to recovery, but also noted the revival is not on solid footing, and the recovery momentum is not stable. Many uncertainties remain.

China's consumer inflation fell 1.7 percent year on year in June, representing the worst contraction since October 2002. The inflation index at wholesale level dropped 7.8 percent, the lowest in a decade.

However, bank lending hit a record 7.37 trillion yuan in the first half, as the government looked to a moderately easy monetary policy to support economic recovery.

Li said the consumer prices are falling and the domestic demand remained inadequate, and the economy is still plagued by overcapacity.

He said international price changes have big impact on domestic prices, and the government will closely watch for price fluctuations to prevent inflation risks.

Since last November, the Chinese government has adopted a series of stimulus measures including a 4-trillion yuan investment package, tax cuts, and consumer subsidies to maintain growth and employment.

The government has set a full-year GDP growth target at eight percent, a level which is rare in the developed economies, but is the minimum to maintain full employment in a nation with a population of 1.3 billion people.

Li said the stimulus package was the reason the intensity of the economic rise is building up.

Benefiting from the massive government spending in the construction of railways, roads and infrastructure, the fixed asset investment rose 33.5 percent in the fist six months, the most in five years.

The industrial output rose 10.7 percent last month, and the figure for the first half was 7.0 percent. Retail sales climbed 15.0 percent during January-June.

Earlier this month, the International Monetary Fund raised its forecast of China's 2009 growth by one percentage point to 7.5 percent. The World Bank also adjusted its figure from 6.5 percent to 7.2 percent.

Many analysts expect China to be the first major country to emerge from the worst global economic slump since the 1930s.

June CPI falls 1.7%

China's consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, declined 1.7 percent in June from a year earlier.

This marks the fifth consecutive month of decline since the index dropped 1.6 percent in February, the first fall since October 2002.

PPI falls 7.8% in June

China's producer price index (PPI), a major measurement of inflation at the wholesale level, fell 7.8 percent year on year in June. The decline compared with a 7.2-percent drop in May from the same period last year.

Urban fixed-asset investment up 33.5% in H1

China's urban fixed-asset investment in the first half year rose 33.5 percent from a year earlier. The figure is 7.2 percentage points higher than the same period of last year.

Industrial output up 10.7% in June

China's industrial output expanded 10.7  percent in June from a year earlier, faster than the 8.9 percent rate in May.

It makes the industrial output growth rise to 7 percent for the first half.

Retail sales up 15.0% in H1

China's retail sales in the first half year rose 15.0 percent from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics announced Thursday.

FDI falls 17.9% in first half

China's used foreign direct investment (FDI) dropped by 17.9 percent to US$43 billion in the first half of this year from a year ago, said Yao Jian, spokesman of the Ministry of Commerce, Wednesday.

Foreign reserves top $2.13t by June

China's foreign exchange reserves topped $2.13 trillion by the end of June, up 17.84 percent year on year, the People's Bank of China said Wednesday.