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Chinese Economic Development Maintains A Good Momentum
2003/05/15

  

       --In the first quarter of this year, China's national economy maintained a good momentum of development, with the growth of major economic indexes quickened and the quality and efficiency of development improved considerably.


       Economic growth was quickened.According to preliminary estimation, in the first three months of this year China's GDP totaled 2,356.2 billion yuan, up 9.9 percent over the same period of last year. The growth rate, 2.3 percentage points higher than that in the same period of last year, is the highest in the corresponding period since 1997.
   
       Growth of industrial production was accelerated.In the first three months, the added value of industrial enterprises above the designated size hit 834.3 billion yuan, showing an increase of 17.2 percent over the same period of last year, with the growth rate rising by 6.3 percentage points.
   
       Agriculture developed steadily amidst restructuring.In 2003, the coverage of land planted to grain is 2.295 million hectares, down 2.2 percent from last year, while that of land planted to cotton and oil-bearing crops has increased by 16 percent and 4.1 percent respectively. In the first quarter, the output of meat and aquatic products grew by 3.4 percent and 2 percent respectively.
   
       Fixed asset investment increased swiftly.In the first three months, the country's investment in fixed assets totaled 615.5 billion yuan, up 27.8 percent over the same period of last year, with the growth rate rising by 8.2 percentage points.
   
       Domestic market boomed.In the first three months, the country's total volume of retail sales hit 1,110.9 billion yuan, up 9.2 percent over the same period of last year, with the growth rate rising by 0.8 percentage point.
   
       Imports and exports grew rapidly.In the first quarter, the country's import and export volume totaled USS 173.7 billion, up 42.4 percent over the same period of last year, with the growth rate rising by 34.8 percentage points. Exports, valued at US$86.3 billion, increased by 33.5 percent, or 23.6 percentage points higher than the growth in the same period of last year. Exports to the United States, Hong Kong, Japan, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and EU----China's main trade partners--rose by 34 percent, 29.1 percent, 23.9 percent, 28 percent and 41.9 percent respectively. Imports increased rapidly by 52.4 percent to reach US$87.3 billion. The growth of imports from Japan, the ROK and ASEAN exceeded 50 percent, and that from the United States soared to 39.9 percent. The first three months of this year saw a trade deficit of USS I billion, against a trade surplus of US$7.3 billion in the same period of last year.

       Foreign direct investment increased quickly.In the first three months, the committed and paid-in foreign investment in China reached US$22.98 billion and US$13.09 billion respectively, up 59.6 percent and 56.7 percent. The growth rates exceeded those in the same period of last year by 48.2 percentage points and 29.2 percentage points respectively.    

       Market prices began to pick up.In the first three months, the country's consumer price rose by 0.5 percent over the same period of last year, a rise for the first time since November 2001.
   
       Economic returns improved considerably.In the first two months, industrial enterprises nationwide netted 98 billion yuan in profits, up 120 percent over the same period of last year. In the first three months, the country's financial revenue totaled 520.5 billion yuan, up 36.7 percent over the same period of last year, with the growth rate rising by 33.3 percentage points. Financial expenditures grew steadily, and a big surplus was left after revenue was offset by expenditures.

       Income of urban and rural residents continued to increase.In the first three months, the per-capita disposable income of urban residents and the per-capita net income of rural residents averaged 2,355 yuan and 737 yuan respectively, showing a real increase of 8.4 percent and 7.5 percent over the same period of last year. By the end of March, the balance of urban and rural residents' savings deposits had reached 9,456.8 billion yuan, showing a rise of 758.2 billion yuan over the amount at the beginning of this year and an increase of 253.1 billion yuan over that in the same period of last year.



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