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Economy Soars 9.5% in 2004

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in Beijing Tuesday morning that gross domestic product totaled 13.65 trillion yuan (US$1.65 trillion) last year, an increase of 9.5 percent on 2003.


The robust economic picture was posted against the backdrop of substantial government efforts to cool the economy down, especially some red-hot sectors such as steel, cement, aluminum and real estate.


In a press release distributed at the State Council's Information Office, the NBS said that preliminary figures for the added value of primary industry rose 6.3 percent to 2.07 trillion yuan (about US$250 billion) in 2004.


That of secondary and tertiary industries rose 11.1 and 8.3 percent to 7.24 trillion yuan (US$874.4 billion) and 4.34 trillion yuan (US$524.15 billion) respectively, it added.


NBS Director Li Deshui told the press that China had scored "tangible" outcomes in cementing and improving macro-control and had curbed "unhealthy and unstable" factors in its economic development.


Major industrial enterprises, whose annual sales revenues exceeded 5 million yuan (US$609,000), registered a 16.7 percent rise in their added value, down slightly from the previous year.


Coal output went up 15 percent, while power output was up 14.9 percent. The aggregate product of pig iron, crude steel, rolled steel rose 24.1 percent, 32.2 percent and 23.5 percent respectively. The automobile sector churned out 5.2 million units.


According to Li, total profits for the industrial sector stood at 1.13 trillion yuan (US$138.3 billion), up 38.1 percent.


Investment in fixed assets totaled 7.01 trillion yuan (about US$854.5 billion), up 25.8 percent year-on-year. This growth rate was 1.9 percentage points lower than the previous year.


Consumer spending remained stable but showed invigorating signs, with the combined retail sales volume growing 13.3 percent to 5.4 trillion yuan (US$652.17 billion). It climbed 10.2 percent after deducting price hikes, 1 percentage point higher on a yearly basis.


Urban and rural retail sales rose 14.7 and 10.7 percent.


Typically, per capita net income of rural residents rose 6.8 percent to 2,936 yuan (US$355), the strongest growth in the past seven years since 1997.


Per capita disposable income of urban residents reached 9,422 yuan (US$1,140), a net rise of 7.7 percent.


By the end of 2004, the saving deposit of urban and rural populations totaled more than 11.95 trillion yuan (approximately US$1.44 trillion), an increase of 1.59 trillion yuan (US$192.6 billion) over the end of 2003.


Last year, the number of the newly employed reached 9.8 million among the urban residents, 800,000 more than the anticipated goal. As a result, the urban registered unemployment rate dropped to 4.2 percent, down 0.1 percent from a year ago.


Total grain output reached 469.5 million tons, a hefty increase of 38.8 million tons or 9.0 percent over the previous year.


Total grain production and average yield of cereal crops were an all time high. Average per-hectare grain yield was 4,620 kilograms, up 6.6 percent.


Total cotton production reached 6.32 million tons, up 30 percent; oil-bearing seeds output was 30.57 million tons, up 8.8 percent; output of sugar-bearing crops was 95.28 million tons, down by 1.2 percent; total meat output was 72.60 million tons, up 4.7 percent; and the output of aquatic and marine products amounted to 48.55 million tons, up 3.2 percent.


(Xinhua News Agency January 25, 2005)

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