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Electricity output the lowest for 7 years
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China's power production dropped 7.1 percent last month, the biggest decline in more than seven years, as factories shut because of reduced exports, preliminary data from the nation's largest power distributor showed.

Electricity output fell to 252.6 billion kilowatt-hours in November, according to an internal newsletter published by the State Grid Corp of China dated December 10. That's the steepest drop since January 2001, according to the Website of the National Bureau of Statistics.

No figures before 2001 were provided on the Website, Bloomberg News said.

China's exports fell for the first time in seven years as a global slowdown cut demand, lowering industrial fuel consumption and electricity use.

Coal-fired power generation in November dropped 13.8 percent to 200.9 billion kilowatt-hours from a year ago, according to the data from State Grid, which supplies electricity to more than 1 billion people in China.

November is the second consecutive month in which electricity output has fallen. Production dropped 4 percent to 264.5 billion kilowatt-hours in October, the first decline since March 2005, the national statistics bureau said. Official data for last month are due to be released next week.

China's economy expanded at the slowest pace since 2003 in the third quarter.

Half of the country's toy makers shut in the first seven months, the official Xinhua news agency said, while manufacturing contracted by a record in October.

Power consumption growth may slow to between 4 and 8 percent in 2009 as the economy cools, Shan Baoguo, head of research at State Grid's Beijing unit, said on November 4.

Electricity output has maintained a double-digit growth rate for at least the last four years, official data showed.

(Shanghai Daily December 12, 2008)

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