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Report: Beijing resumes economic development after SARS
( 2003-10-10 21:14) (Xinhua)

Beijing's economic development has recovered to the normal level and the effects of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) on the economy have almost gone, said the Beijing Statistics Bureau on Friday.

Bureau spokesperson Yu Xiuqin told a press conference that Beijing's economy has achieved a 10 percent growth during the first nine months of this year and the major economic indexes have returned to the normal level.

The official statistics indicate that as of September the added industrial value reached 72.72 billion yuan (US$8.76 billion), representing a year-on-year increase of 12.3 percent. Fast growth was also obtained in the fields of telecommunications, manufacturing, oil refineries, metallurgy and the auto business was especially flourishing, contributing as much as 47.2 percent of the industrial value increase.

Individual consumption was also revived. During the January- September period, the total retail revenue rose to 138.61 billion yuan (US$16.7 billion), up 13.7 percent. Consumers spent mainly on cars, building materials and communication devices. Among them, 192,000 automobiles were sold in Beijing, up 38.4 percent from last year.

Meanwhile, the investment in fixed assets was roughly 131.44 billion yuan (US$15.8 billion), up 20.2 percent.

In spite of the encouraging figures, the spokesperson also expressed concerns about some aspects of the economy. The economic development of Beijing was slow compared with some other cities like Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing. The service sector and tourism remain sluggish, said the spokesperson.

As of September, Beijing had accommodated 1.17 million overseas tourists this year, down 48.1 percent from last year.

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