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Economy in Brief

China GDP Strong at 9.5% Growth in Q2
by Carol Stone July 20, 2005

China's GDP remained strong in Q2, gaining 9.5% in real terms over Q2 2004, a pick-up from the 9.4% rate in Q1. Analysts in one leading forecast survey had looked for a slowing to 9.2%.

Manufacturing was a leading sector, as indicated in the advance in "secondary industry" shown in the table below, which similarly picked up in the quarter, rather than slowing down. It is not quite as vigorous as in 2003, but otherwise, factory and mining activity is maintaining the strongest trend since 1996. Data through May on nominal value added by industry indicate that so-called "heavy" industry is expanding at better than 35%, year-on-year, and "light" industry around 22% in recent months.

Interestingly, by types of ownership, the fastest growing industrial firms are the "share-holding enterprises", while value added by collectives and "joint ventures" actually decreased. State-owned and foreign-owned industrial firms are also showing sustained strength. A threshold of sorts was crossed in March 2004 when the value added by share-holding industrial enterprises surpassed that of state-owned firms; with a single exception. that has remained true every month since, and in May, the stock companies' value added exceeded that of the state-owned firms by more than 22%.

Other economic sectors remain firm, but relatively less vigorous. Primary industry (mostly agriculture) is up 5.0% in Q2, more than the 4.6% in Q1, but noticeably below the 6.3% for all of 2004. Tertiary activity, that is, mostly services, grew 7.8% in Q2, basically the pace that has prevailed since 1995.

China Q2 2005 Q1 2005 2004 2003 2002
GDP, Bil RMN 3610.3 3131.9 3421.9 2934.8 2926.3
Real Growth, Yr/Yr 9.5 9.4 9.5 9.5 8.3
Secondary Industry, Bil RMN 2131.7 1831.8 1809.7 1531.8 1324.5
Real Growth, Yr/Yr 11.2 11.1 11.1 12.7 9.8
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