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NBS: SARS Roughly Impacts 0.8 Percent GDP Growth

The impact of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) to China's gross domestic product (GDP) growth is estimated at 0.8 percentage points, Qiu Xiaohua, deputy director of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), said in Beijing Friday.


The figure is lower than which was predicted by experts.


Qiu said economic loss caused by SARS did not influence the rapid growth of China's economy. Since industries affected by SARS began to recover in June, China's economy has recovered in the third quarter. The main reason was that the service sector has evidently resumed in the third quarter, with an increase of 7.6 percent.


Farmer's income is also recovering, with a growth rate of 6.5 percent in the third quarter despite a decrease of 3.3 percent in the second quarter. The main reason was that the number of farmers who had gone to work in urban areas had resumed its normal level, an increase of 5 million in the third quarter over the second quarter.


He noted that SARS had also affected the foreign trade sector, but the impact was not distinct. Foreign trade had maintained rapid progress in the third quarter, he said.


The fact that the SARS impact on China's national economy had almost been wiped out in the third quarter, however, did not mean the country could neglect the continuing threat. China should continue to enhance the construction of its public sanitary system and implement all related policies to maintain overall development, he said.


(Xinhua News Agency October 18, 2003)


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