Wednesday, January 04, 2006

'China's GDP grew 9.8% in '05'

Posted online: Monday, January 02, 2006 at 1103 hours IST
Updated: Monday, January 02, 2006 at 1111 hours IST

BEIJING, JANUARY 2: China's economy grew 9.8 per cent in 2005, a vice minister was quoted as saying on Sunday, revising up an earlier estimate and again confounding forecasts that the country's racing output growth had begun to slow at last.
The higher growth rate, which may not be the final official figure, builds on the latest estimates of China's 2004 Gross Domestic Product, which the statistics office hoisted by one sixth last month.

Ou Xinqian, a Vice Minister responsible for the National Development and Reform Commission, issued the new figure ahead of the release of the Statistics Office's 2005 GDP estimates due late this month.

"The commission's previous estimate for last year's economic growth was 9.4 per cent," the official news agency Xinhua said, citing Ou. "This figure was adjusted according to the newly revised GDP (of) 2004."

The commission, like other government agencies and private economists, had expected the economy to show a little moderation in 2005 after growing 9.5 per cent in both 2003 and 2004.

The authorities have been trying for more than two years to slow sectors reckoned to be in danger of overheating and risking an economic bust.

But while economists and investors worried about whether the authorities could pull off a soft landing, so far there has been no sign of any kind of landing at all.

It was unclear whether Ou's growth figure of 9.8 per cent represented the official estimate of the government statistician or was merely a preliminary and independent estimate from the commission, China's top economic planning authority.


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