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Industrial output up by 17.1%
( 2003-09-11 09:48) (China Daily)

China's industrial output grew 17.1 per cent in August compared to a year ago to 349.8 billion yuan (US$42.1 billion), the National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday.

The industrial output grew at a year-on-year pace of 16.5 per cent in July and 16.9 per cent in June.

For the first seven months, the industrial output grew a year-on-year 16.5 per cent to 2,527.1 billion yuan (US$304.5 billion).

Bureau spokesman Yao Jingyuan said output growth of electronics and telecommunications equipment and machinery equipment firms showed obvious acceleration in the month, while manufacturers of transportation equipment, ferrous metals and chemicals continued to contribute greatly to industrial growth on the whole.

Output of cars surged 63.2 per cent in August over a year earlier to 169,000 vehicles, while cell phone production rose 54.7 per cent, the bureau said.

China generated 170 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in August, up 16.9 per cent, according to bureau figures.

In August, exports handled by the industrial sector were 231.8 billion yuan (US$27.9 billion), a year-on-year increase of 28.5 per cent.

Wang Zhao, a researcher with the State Council's Development Research Centre, said the rapid industrial growth suggests the country's economy has maintained a healthy momentum.

"Production will continue to grow at a higher rate in the coming months," he said.

Robust fixed-asset investments expected this year will benefit heavy industries such as cement and steel, while relatively stable consumption demand will benefit light industries such as air conditioners and washing machines, he said.

Rapid industrial growth will keep the country's economy growing at a higher rate this year, he said, noting that an industrial output contributed more than 50 per cent to the whole gross domestic product.

During the first half of this year, the country's economy grew at a year-on-year 8.2 per cent.

Yao Jingyuan said China is capable of meeting the year's economic growth goal of 7 per cent set at the beginning of the year.

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