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Beijing Fuel Sales Up 57.1%
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Due to rising oil prices and hot sales of vehicles, the turnover from the sale of gasoline increased more rapidly than all the other “social consumer goods” over the first three months of the year in Beijing.


According to a report released this week by the Beijing Municipal Statistics Bureau, retail sales of fuel products was up by 57.1 percent, making up 25.1 percent of the total municipal turnover from retail sales.


Beijing residents spent 78.03 billion yuan (US$9.4 billion) from January to March, up 12.9 percent from the same period of last year. Vehicle sales contributed 57.8 percent to the total volume of retail figures. Around 156,000 vehicles were sold, up by 24 percent from the same period of last year. Of these 94,000 were new, a rise of 8.6 percent.


Fixed asset investment in the first three months amounted to 37.99 billion yuan (US$4.6 billion), an increase of 17.5 percent on last year. Facility investment was up by 24.8 percent and fixed assets investment in rural areas amounted to 2.34 billion yuan (US$292 million) which is a sharp rise of 36.8 percent.


Investment in real estate in Beijing began to recover after six months in the doldrums. A total of 21.63 billion yuan (US$2.6 billion) was invested in the three months, an increase of 13.1 percent while home investment rose by 31.1 percent. Taking into account the price of forward delivery housing in the three months which stood at 6,687 yuan (US$835), 6,957 yuan (US$868) and 7,046 yuan (US$880) per square meter respectively, it could be said that the property investment market had entered a period when the “tide was rising”.


With the warming up of both the housing and vehicle markets and the impacts of rising oil prices, residents in the capital spent more money in the first three months of this year than they have before. The per capita consumption was 3,634 yuan (US$454), up 16.1 percent.


The per capita disposable income of 5,365 yuan (US$670) was up 17.5 percent from the same period of last year because many workers were in receipt of year-end bonuses and the private income tax threshold was raised.


Additionally prices remained broadly stable with a 1 percent increase on last year.


High-tech industries and modern manufacturing witnessed an increased value of 9.73 billion yuan (US$1.21 billion) and 16.95 billion yuan (US$2.12 billion) respectively, up by 41.2 percent and 31.4 percent. The added value of communication and electronic manufacturing output amounted to 6.51 billion yuan (US$812.5 million), up 53.9 percent.


The dramatic increase in high-tech industries helped the municipal revenue increase by 19.3 percent to 27.73 billion yuan (US$3.46 billion).


( by Zhang Tingting, April 21, 2006)

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