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Guangdong reports income growth
By Zheng Caixiong (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-10-21 00:46

Resident's personal incomes in this prosperous Guangdong Province witnessed a growth rate of more than 10 per cent in the first three quarters of the year.

According to figures from Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Statistics, per capita income of urban residents reached 10,416.76 yuan (US$1,270) in the first nine months this year, up 10.7 per cent from the same period last year.

And revealing that the central government's efforts to increase rural incomes are working, farmers in the province bordering Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions enjoyed even bigger growth in their average personal incomes.

Guangdong's per capita income for farmers came to 3,264.6 yuan (US$396.67) between January and September, a year-on-year increase of 11.4 per cent.

By the end of last month, the bank balance of Guangdong residents hit 1,705.21 billion yuan (US$207.19 billion), up 146.12 billion yuan (US$17.75 billion) when compared with the figures recorded at the beginning of the year.

Bu Xinmin, director-general of Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Statistics, yesterday attributed the growth of personal incomes for local residents to the province's sustainable economic development since January.The provincial government introduced a series of preferential policies to support agricultural production and expand investment in developing agriculture this year.

"And farmers are encouraged to develop export-oriented agricultural products and to establish more agricultural processing firms to increase their incomes," said Bu.

The new preferential policies have greatly mobilized enthusiasm among farmers to work hard in their fields and related industries, added Bu.

As a result, sown areas, the per mu yield and the total agricultural output have all witnessed growth this year, reversing a reduction trend over the past five years.

While enjoying growth in their personal incomes, Guangdong residents have also been opening their wallets.

The province's total retail sales volume for consumer goods reached 460.32 billion yuan (US$55.93 billion) from January to September, is up 13.6 per cent from the corresponding months of last year.

And the retail sales volume for telecommunication equipment and products, materials for interior decoration, gold and silver jewelry, petroleum and related products, cars, home appliances and audiovisual products all witnessed larger growth this year.

The retail prices for major consumer goods enjoyed moderate growth in the province.

The province's consumer price index grew only 2.8 per cent in the first eight months of this year, 1.2 percentage lower than the country's average during the same period.

Guangdong's gross domestic product (GDP) reached 1,113 billion yuan (US$135.24 billion) in the nine months ending September, up 14.8 per cent from the same period of last year.

Spurred by the good economic performance in the first nine months, Bu said he was confident Guangdong, one of China's economic powerhouses, would reach a GDP growth of at least 14.5 per cent in 2004.

Bu's confidence was also based on Guangdong's strong growth in foreign trade and industry in the previous months.

And Guangdong, a hot place for foreign investment, has of great potential domestic market, rich labour resources, relatively abundant capital for investment and an advanced transportation network, Bu said.

But he warned that the global price hike of crude oil, coal and other energies might prevent Guangdong's economy from developing fast in the following months.

Guangdong that has insufficient natural resources and energies relies much on its foreign-oriented economic development.

The province has to annually import plenty of crude oil, coals and other raw materials to support its economic construction.

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