China's economic growth continued to decelerate in the third quarter as the government weans the economy from the stimulus. But rising inflation posed new challenges.
The gross domestic product (GDP) grew 9.6 percent in the third quarter from the same period last year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Thursday.
The growth rate slowed down from 11.9 percent in the first quarter and10.3 percent in the second quarter. From January to September, GDP increased by 10.6 percent year-on- year to 26.866 trillion yuan ($4.03 trillion), the NBS said.
"The economic performance is generally sound," Sheng Laiyun, NBS's spokesman, told a press conference. "In the face of complicated and fast-changing domestic and international situations and challenges, China implemented the stimulus package and sped up economic restructuring. The economic turnaround has been further consolidated and is moving in the anticipated direction," Sheng said.
He said the government would keep its macro-economic policy "consistent and stable," and make it more "targeted and flexible." "More efforts will be made to transform the economic development mode, deepen opening-up and reform, improve people's lives and ensure stable and relatively fast economic growth," he said.
CPI hits 24-month high in Sept
The consumer price index (CPI), China's main gauge of inflation, rose by a 24-month high of 3.6 percent in September from one year earlier.
The growth rate was 0.1 percentage point higher compared with that in August, the NBS said. On a month-on-month basis, China's CPI grew 0.6 percent in September from August, it said.
Fixed asset investment up 24% in first nine months
China's fixed asset investment rose 24 percent in the first nine months year on year to 19.22 trillion yuan ($2.89 trillion). Urban fixed asset investment rose by 24.5 percent from a year earlier to 16.59 trillion yuan, while rural investment increased by 20.5 percent to 2.64 trillion yuan.
The urban investment in the primary, secondary and tertiary industries rose by 17.7 percent, 22.0 percent and 26.7 percent respectively. The NBS figures also showed that property development investment grew 36.4 percent to 3.35 trillion yuan from January to September.
Industrial value-added output growth slows to 13.3% in Sept
China's industrial value-added output year-on-year growth slowed to 13.3 percent in September from 13.9 percent in August. The growth rate for the first nine months was 16.3 percent year on year, down 0.3 percentage points from the January-to-July period, the NBS said.
Industrial value-added output measures the final results of industrial production, which is the value of gross industrial output minus intermediate inputs such as raw materials and labor.