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First quarter economy grows 9.8%
Updated: 2004-05-18 08:37

China's economy expanded at an annual rate of 9.8 percent in the first quarter of this year, the government said Monday, revising a preliminary estimate that put GDP growth at 9.7 percent.

The revision in gross domestic product data showed the economy was expanding even faster than earlier expected. Near 10 percent growth has raised fears inflation could soar.

The National Statistics Bureau said it revised its first quarter GDP figure due to higher than previously estimated growth in services industries such as transport, storage and telecommunications.

China's economy grew 9.1 percent last year. Booms in some industries such as steel, cement and construction have strained energy and transport, pushing prices higher.

Authorities have tightened monetary policy and lending rules to try to curb speculative investments that they blame for rising inflation. The official growth target for 2004 is 7 percent.

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