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Guangdong Economy Grows

The economy of South China's Guangdong Province posted a strong 15.1 percent growth in the first half of the year and is expected to expand by about 14 percent for the full year as investment and export increases are expected to slow down in the second half.


Gross domestic product (GDP) of Guangdong rose to 695.97 billion yuan (US$83.85 billion) in the first half, said Bu Xinmin, director of the provincial statistics bureau.


Fixed-asset investment increased by a relatively high 25.9 percent year-on-year to reach 230.9 billion yuan (US$27.82 billion), which was 8.4 percentage points lower than in the first five months, after national macroeconomic control measures took effect.


Exports continued to grow at a fast pace, at 26 percent to reach US$82.87 billion.


Consumption carried on the accelerated growth momentum, up by 13.8 percent or price-adjusted 11.1 percent to 303.13 billion yuan (US$36.52 billion). Sales of telecommunications devices, automobile, and construction and decoration materials, for example, registered increases of 84, 56 and 52 percent respectively.


Consumer prices increase eased to 2.4 percent.


Output from Guangdong's industrial and service sectors rose by 19 percent and 11.2 percent respectively.


The macro economic control measures would not have significant impact on the economic growth of Guangdong this year, Bu said.


Regarding the three major targeted sectors of the tightening measures, namely steel, cement and aluminum, Guangdong has no new aluminium project. Investment in the 39 steel projects under construction totaled 2.327 billion yuan (US$280.36 million) in the first half, down by 13 percent. After the overhaul of the cement sector in the past few years, the new cement projects in the province are all in line with the State policy, he said.


Outstanding bank loans in both renminbi and foreign currencies in Guangdong were 4.3 percent higher at the end of June than at the beginning of this year but 2.1 percent lower than at the end of May.


The number of various economic development zones in the province was slashed from 499 to 102.


Fixed asset investment growth was expected to slow down in the second half. Growth in exports was expected to decelerate slightly because of trade protectionism and a change in the export tax rebate policy, Bu said.


Inadequacy in power and energy supply and transportation, relatively high growth in prices of consumer and capital goods such as grain and edible oil, and excessive growth in industrial inventory are also cited as posing risks to the economy of Guangdong.


(China Daily July 16, 2004)





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