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Nov industry output up 17.9%
( 2003-12-10 23:00) (China Daily)

China's industrial output grew 17.9 per cent in November compared with figures for the same period a year ago to 396.6 billion yuan (US$47.8 billion), the National Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday.

The growth rate was the highest since February, when it reached 19.8 per cent.

The industrial output grew a year-on-year 17.2 per cent in October and 16.3 per cent in September, the bureau said earlier.

For the first 11 months, the industrial output grew a year-on-year 16.8 per cent to 3.67 trillion yuan (US$442.1 billion).

Spokesman Yao Jingyuan of the bureau said four industrial sectors -- electronics and telecommunications equipment, transportation equipment, machinery equipment and ferrous metals -- are the major contributors to the month's industrial growth.

"The four sectors contributed 46.9 per cent of November's industrial growth,'' he said.

Output of cars surged 71.6 per cent in November from the figure a year earlier to 200,200 vehicles, while computer production rose 130 per cent, the bureau said.

Energy production took a turn for the better in the month, with coal production grew a year-on-year 20.9 per cent to 122 million tons.

A total 162.5 billion kilowatt hours of electricity were generated in the month, an increase of 15.6 per cent.

In November, industrial sector exports were totalled 261.4 billion yuan (US$31.5 billion) in value, a year-on-year increase of 29.6 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 development momentum.

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

The robust fixed asset investment expected in the coming months will benefit heavy industries such as cement and steel, while the relative stable consumption demand will benefit light industrial products such as air conditioners and washing machines, he said.

The nation's rapid industrial growth will keep the country's economy growing at a higher rate, because the industrial output contributes more than 50 per cent of the total gross domestic product, he said.

During the first nine months of this year, the country's economy grew a year-on-year 8.5 per cent.

"If there are no major unexpected fluctuations, the country's economy is expected to grow 8.5 per cent for 2003,'' said Qiu Xiaohua, deputy commissioner of the National Bureau of Statistics.

Qiu said he has confidence that China is capable of maintaining an average annual economic growth of 7 per cent to 2020.

Zhang Liqun, a senior researcher with the Development Research Centre, said the Chinese economy would continue to develop at a high speed in the coming several years, as market forces have begun to play a leading role in economic development.

"No one can underestimate the country's solid development foundation formed by the reform and opening-up, the comprehensive effects engendered by the country's efforts to expand domestic demand and the central government's ability to control the overall economy,'' he said.

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