The industrial output of China's major enterprises grew 16.0 percent year-on-year in May, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Monday.
The increase was 0.3 percentage points higher than April and 2.1 percentage points lower than May last year, the bureau said.
"The industrial output slowed down despite the fact that the week-long May Day holiday was shortened to three days this year, which gave the country a longer working month," said Zhang Yansheng, head of the Research Institute of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation under the National Development and Reform Commission.
Zhang contributed the slower growth to the government's efforts to prevent the economy from going overheated. The January-May industrial output increased 16.3 percent, 1.8 percentage points lower than the same period of last year.
The output of textile, chemicals, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, electrical equipments all saw slower growth while that of general equipments, transportation equipments and telecommunication equipments, computer and other electronic equipments witnessed higher growth in May.
Analysts said the growth in some sectors was likely driven by the surge in demand following the catastrophic earthquake in mid-May. After the quake which destroyed factories and houses, the country began constructing temporary settlement areas for the survivors and rebuilding infrastructure facilities in the affected regions.
The output of power and coal rose 11.8 percent and 18.5 percent respectively; crude steel was up 10.5 percent; Motor vehicles rose 21.7 percent, among which cars rose 17.6 percent.
Crude oil output reached 16.2 million tonnes, a modest rise of 1.8 percent from a year earlier.
The sales ratio of industrial products was 98.0 percent, an increase of 0.1 percentage points over last May. This figure measured the part of production that were sold rather than those went into inventory.
(Xinhua News Agency June 16, 2008)