Economic growth gathers steam

THE Chinese economy is likely to show a growth of 8% in 2002, the National Bureau of Statistics predicted.  

It said that the speedy growth of China's economy this year was fuelled by booming exports and the central government efforts to stimulate domestic demand.  

Preliminary figures from the bureau suggest that the country's gross domestic product (GDP) reached 10.2tril yuan (RM4.67tril) in 2002, an increase of 8% from the previous year.  

In 2001, GDP growth was 7.3%. The government had aimed for 7% this year.  

But the 8% expansion was expected in recent months as the economy gathered steam, growing 7.6% in the first quarter, 8% in the second and 8.1% in the third.  

“The steady pick-up in economic development continued in the fourth quarter,” said Zhu Zhixin, head of the statistics bureau.  

The three engines – fixed investment, consumption and overseas demand – had become the motor forces of this year's economic development, Zhu said.  

During the first 11 months of 2002, China's fixed-assets investment rose 23.4% to 2.61tril yuan (RM1.20tril) and retail sales grew 8.8% to 3.65tril yuan (RM1.67tril). 

Surging exports, which were fuelled by the recovery of the world economy, grew 21.6% to US$293.7bil (RM1.12tril) during the period.  

“Looking into the future, the world economic environment remains uncertain and the domestic economy still faces many major problems, but all in all, there are more chances than challenges.  

“The national economy is expected to maintain its excellent development momentum in 2003,” Zhu said.  

An earlier report from the Macroeconomic Research Institute under the State Development Planning Commission said the Chinese economy would grow by 7.6% to 7.8% in 2003.  

The central government's goal to develop a well-off society in an all-round way over the coming two decades will greatly increase people's confidence in the future, the report said.  

The new government will also do its best to push forward the country's economic reform and opening-up process, it said.  

Meanwhile, the positive effects brought by the country's accession to the World Trade Organisation will continue in 2003. – China Daily  

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