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Economy Grew 9.9% in 2005: Statistics
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China's economy grew 9.9 percent in 2005 on the back of improved efficiency, mild inflation and enhanced vitality, Li Deshui, director of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), announced at a press conference in Beijing on Wednesday morning.

Preliminary estimates show that gross domestic product (GDP) for the year stood at 18.23 trillion yuan (US$2.26 trillion), Li said.

The rate was marginally lower than the 10.1 percent growth in 2004.

The value-added worth of primary industries reached 2.27 trillion yuan (US$281.54 billion), up 5.2 percent; secondary industries rose was 8.62 trillion yuan (US$1.069 trillion), up 11.4 percent; and tertiary industries increased to 7.34 trillion yuan (US$910.35 billion), up 9.6 percent.

Li said last year's growth was "fairly balanced." GDP increased 9.9, 10.1, 9.8 and 9.9 percent, respectively, over the four quarters.

Retail Sales of Consumer Goods Up 12.9%

The country's total retail sales of consumer goods reached 6.7177 trillion yuan (US$833.17 billion) in 2005, a year-on-year increase of 12.9 percent.

The increase, or a real growth of 12 percent after deducting price factors, is 1.8 percentage points higher than the previous year.

Of the total, retail sales of consumer goods in urban areas increased by 13.6 percent, and retail sales at county level and below went up by 11.5 percent.

The wholesale and retail sectors grew by 12.6 percent, and the catering industry by 17.7 percent, Li said.

Sales of communication equipment went up by 19.9 percent; household electric appliances and audio-video appliances by 14.8 percent; automobiles by 16.6 percent; and oil and by-products by 34.4 percent.

Trade Surplus Hits US$101.9 billion

China posted a trade surplus of US$101.9 billion in 2005, an increase of US$69.9 billion from 2004.

Foreign trade was valued at US$1.4 trillion in 2005, up 23.2 percent over the previous year.

The country's exports were valued at US$762 billion last year, up 28.4 percent year-on-year; and imports US$660.12 billion, a rise of 17.6 percent.

Foreign direct investment utilized in 2005 was US$60.3 billion, a drop of 0.5 percent.

Foreign exchange reserves at year-end amounted to US$818.9 billion, an increase of US$208.9 billion compared with the beginning of the year.

Rural Residents' Net Income Rises 6.2%

The per capita net income of rural residents amounted to 3,255 yuan (US$403.7) in 2005, a real growth of 6.2 percent, or 0.6 percentage points lower that in the previous year.

Meanwhile, the per capita disposable income of urban residents was 10,493 yuan (US$1301), a real growth of 9.6 percent after deducting price factors, or 1.9 percentage points higher than 2004.

Li said the country's savings deposits of residents totaled 14.1 trillion yuan (about US$1.749 trillion), an increase of 2.1 trillion yuan (US$260.45 billion) compared with the beginning of 2005. At the same time, the registered urban unemployment rate stood at 4.2 percent at the end of 2005, unchanged from the previous year.

(Xinhua News Agency January 25, 2006)

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