China's power use rises 13.3% in first two months

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China's electricity consumption, a key barometer of economic activity, rose 13.3 percent to 1.06 trillion kilowatt hours in the first two months of 2018, official data showed Tuesday.


The rate was higher than the 6.6-percent increase for 2017, according to data released by the National Energy Administration (NEA).


Electricity used by the service sector rose 18.8 percent, followed by a 15.2 percent increase for residential power use and 12.6 percent for the agricultural sector. Power consumption in the industrial sector went up 11.5 percent, the NEA said.


In the first two months, China added 23.56 gigawatts of new power generation capacity, with 25 percent being thermal power capacity and 2.9 percent being hydropower.


Earlier data showed China's power generation saw faster growth in the first two months this year, with electricity from clean energy sources expanding at a rapid pace.


In the January-February period, power production rose 11 percent, 4.7 percentage points faster than the same period in 2017.


China's economy kicked off 2018 on a strong note with better-than-expected data for the first two months.


Industrial output expanded at 7.2 percent year on year in the first two months, accelerating from 6.2-percent growth in December 2017.

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