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China's industrial output up 15.4% in 1st 2 months

 

BEIJING, March 13 (Xinhua) -- China's industrial output increased by 15.4 percent in the first two months of this year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced on Thursday.

That was moderately lower, by 2 percentage points, than the figure for December.

Fan Jianping, forecasting department chief of the State Information Center, has attributed the slower pace to the seven-day break during the Spring Festival and the severe snowstorms, which cut power supply, disrupted transportation and halted production in southern China.

The slowdown also reflected the weakening of exports due to slack U.S. demand, a key market for China, Fan said.

However, the slower growth does not reflect the future development trend as the snow and festival factors fade away, Fan added.

China's trade surplus shrank to 8.56 billion U.S. dollars in February, roughly one third of the level in the same month last year, the customs statistics showed.

During the first two months, exports rose by 16.8 percent year on year, compared with a 41.5 percent increase in the same period of 2007.

According to the NBS, output of the ferrous metals smelting and processing industry rose 14 percent in the first two months, 5.4 percentage points lower than that in December.

The textile and chemical industries experienced slower growth with the output climbing 11.6 percent and 13.3 percent respectively.

According to customs figures, textile and garment exports in February dropped 32.9 percent from the previous month, and were down 8.5 percent from a year earlier.

Production of crude steel and raw coal hit 79.45 million tons and 360 million tons, up 6.4 percent and 13.4 percent, respectively, according to the NBS.

China's industrial output expanded by 17.4 percent in December. The figure was 18.5 percent for all of last year.

Source: Xinhua


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