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China's industrial output slows down
Updated: 2004-07-09 21:30

China's industrial output showed signs of slowing down over the first half of this year, but production is still galloping ahead at a rate faster than last year.

Statistics released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Friday show that industrial added value rose 17.7 per cent in the first half year, compared with a 17-per cent growth for 2003.

The growth reached a staggering speed of 19.1 per cent in January before slowing down month by month. NBS figures show that the expansion of production slowed 1.3 percentage points from May to 16.2 per cent in June.

State-owned industrial enterprises and non-state enterprises each with an annual sales of five million yuan (US$600,000) or more together turned out a total value added of 2,468.2 billion yuan (US$298.5 billion) in the first half of the year.

The Chinese government's efforts to cool down over-heating investment have had contracted effects on related industrial sectors, which in turn dragged down the production of heavy industries. For example, the growth of cement output slowed 3.9 percentage points from May to 13.2 per cent in June, while steel production dropped 3.3 percentage points to 17.3 per cent.

NBS figures show the production of heavy industries grew by 19. 7 per cent in the first half of the year, compared 15.6 per cent for light industries.

The fast expansion of industrial production continued to put strain on power supply, a newly emerged bottleneck of the economy. NBS figures show electricity generation increased by 15.8 per cent year-on-year to 990.9 billion kwh in the first six months, an all- time high since 1975, and the growth rate was 6.73 percentage points higher than the annual average since 1990.

Despite the rapid growth, most places in the country have reported power shortage, especially since this summer.

On the other hand, improving global economy helped improve China's exports and domestic sales of industrial products in the first half year, according to NBS.

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