Growth slowed in Q3 but Sept data encouraging

2012-10-18 09:00:18 GMT2012-10-18 17:00:18(Beijing Time)

China's economic growth slowed further in the third quarter, but performance in September beat market expectations and showed signs of stabilization, the National Bureau of Statistics said this morning.

Gross domestic product expanded 7.4 percent from a year earlier in the July-September period, the slowest pace since the first quarter of 2009 and moderating from a 7.6 percent rise in the second quarter.

The overall economic output in the world's second-largest economy reached 35.3 trillion yuan (US$5.6 trillion) in the first nine months, up 7.7 percent year on year.

Sheng Laiyun, a spokesman at the bureau, said China presented a generally stable economic performance so far this year, and the country will better implement supportive policies already announced to stabilize growth and accelerate economic restructuring.

"The central government has timely put growth in a more prominent position and rolled out policies to sustain development," Sheng said. "Some policies are already showing effects, and I expect more policies down the road to secure economic recovery in the fourth quarter."

China's industrial production increased 10 percent year on year in the first three quarters, down 0.5 percentage point from the pace in the first half, the bureau's data showed.

Fixed-asset investment rose 20.5 percent in the first nine months, 0.1 percentage point quicker than the pace in the first half thanks to more large-scale construction projects.

Retail sales expanded 14.1 percent, compared with 14.4 percent between July and September. Overall trade growth also slowed to 6.2 percent in the first three quarters.

Zhou Hao, an economist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd, said although the headline figures appear worrisome, a few positive signs have emerged -- the Chinese economy is stabilizing; value of exports reached a record high in September; money supply picked up; and onshore commodity inventories declined sharply.

"The central government has approved as much as 7 trillion yuan for infrastructure investments since May, which makes us to believe that these investment projects will accelerate growth in the near future," Zhou said.

Zhou projected a modest growth momentum in the following quarters, and his bank maintained its forecast that China's economy will grow 7.8 percent this year with the fourth-quarter growth rate between 7.9 percent and 8 percent.

Yesterday, the central government published a statement, quoting Premier Wen Jiabao as saying that China is confident of fulfilling this year's growth target of 7.5 percent.

During his three-day discussion with industrial leaders, Wen said that although China still faces considerable difficulties in the third quarter, its economy is stabilizing as supportive policies are implemented.


Editor: Zhao Wei
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