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Economy in Brief

by Carol Stone China's Industrial Production "Slows" to 16.2% Growth July 9, 2004

The National Bureau of Statistics in China today reported a "slowdown" in industrial production for June to a year-on-year growth rate of 16.2%. This is the fourth consecutive monthly reduction in the growth rate, which reached 23.2% in February.

Such rapid growth is outstripping that big economy's capacity, and power shortages have already developed, press reports indicate. Consumer prices are also rising more rapidly. A slower expansion of economic activity is thus desirable, and government officials have taken several monetary and regulatory policy steps. Bank lending has been restrained, and this is evident in the growth of the money supply M2. As seen in the accompanying chart, fast as that growth is, it was slower in May than it has been since late 2002. June consumer prices will be reported Tuesday, July 13; their performance is seen as key in whether further policy steps are necessary.

Yr/Yr % Change June 2004 May 2004 Apr 2004 2003 2002 2001
Industrial Production: Value Added 16.2 17.5 19.1 18.1 14.9 8.7
Consumer Prices N.A. 4.4 3.8 3.2 -0.4 -0.3
M2 Money Supply N.A. 16.8 18.2 19.6 16.9 17.6
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