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Industrial output slows down mildly
By Xu Dashan (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-12-09 00:42

Growth in China's industrial output continued to decline in November, due to the central government's macro-control measures.

The month's industrial output grew a year-on-year 14.8 per cent to 508.4 billion yuan (US$61.3 billion), figures from the National Bureau of Statistics indicate.

The growth rate was 0.9 percentage points slower than that in October.

Zhang Xueying, a senior economist with the State Information Centre, said the decline in November's industrial output was mainly a result of the central government's macro-control measures.

The government took a raft of measures including raising the bank reserve requirements three times and curbing the unwanted fixed asset projects to cool the overheated investment in sectors such as steel and cement.

In a latest move to cool investment, the People's Bank of China, the central bank, raised benchmark interest rates for the first time in nine years.

The benchmark rate on one-year loans was raised to 5.58 per cent from 5.31 per cent and the rate on one-year deposits was raised to 2.25 per cent from 1.98 per cent.

"The measures should have had a big impact on the fixed asset investment and industrial output," Zhang told China Daily in a telephone interview.

The slower growth (in the industrial output) was beneficial for the country to maintain stable economic growth, he said.

"That is why the central government has decided to continue the macro-control measures next year," he said.

China's industrial output has begun to slow since it peaked at 23.2 per cent in February.

Tang Min, chief economist of the Asian Development Bank resident mission in China, said the 14.8 per cent growth (in the country's industrial output) was still a swift rate.

"The growth will continue to decline in the coming months," he told China Daily.

The industrial output is an important indicator for the country's economic growth.

China's industrial output grew 17 per cent last year, and its gross domestic product grew 9.1 per cent.

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