Output Growth Rate Slides

China's industrial output grew last month but sluggish demand for major heavy industrial products made a dent in the growth rate, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

According to figures just released by the bureau, industrial output grew 10.2 percent last month on a year-on-year basis. The rate was 11.5 percent in April.

Through the first five months of 2001, industrial output growth stood at a combined 11.1 percent.

Commenting on the new figures, the bureau claimed weak demand from overseas markets and slower growth in light industries like tobacco also contributed to the general industrial slowdown.

Leading contributors to the slowdown were coal, metallurgy and automobiles, the bureau said.

Coal production in May grew 6.9 percent, down from 10.8 percent in April. Automobile production slumped by 16.4 percent. And the metallurgical industry's growth rate decelerated by 2.2 percentage points.

The bureau did not provide an actual growth rate for metallurgy.

The growth rate of industrial exports touched a 16-month low of 8.2 percent in May. The rate for April was 10.9 percent.

The textile industry, which relies heavily on international markets, bore the blunt of shrinking external demand, according to the bureau. Textile production growth fell to 8.3 percent in May from 16.2 percent in April.

Shipments of electronic and telecommunications equipment grew 9.5 percent, down from 17.8 percent in April.

The richest regions of the country, including Shanghai, south China's Guangdong Province, and east China's Jiangsu and Shandong provinces, witnessed the most significant slowdown in industrial growth last month.

Shanghai's growth rate for May was 6.6 percentage points lower than April, the bureau said. It did not specify how fast Shanghai's industries were growing last month.

Some relatively underdeveloped provinces also saw industrial slowdowns. Yunnan, a southwestern province that is the country's most important tobacco production base, saw a 6 percent decrease in industrial output, in sharp contrast to the 5.1 percent growth it saw the previous month.

Countrywide, tobacco production decreased 5.1 percent in May.

The bureau said state companies and foreign-funded firms suffered bigger slowdowns than share-holding companies.

Industrial growth for state companies was 8.8 percent, compared with 10.7 percent for the previous month.

Industrial growth for share-holding companies stood at 11.5 percent, unchanged from the previous month.

(China Daily 06/12/2001)

In This Series

Industrial Sector Records More Profits, Fewer Losses

Industrial Firms' Profit Up 46% in 1st Quarter

Industrial Output Up 11.2%

Industrial Output Grows 10 Percent

Sustainable Economic Growth Expected This Year



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