China Revises Up 2009 Growth

China may have fared better economically than previously thought, as its National Bureau of Statistics revised 2009 growth figures. From the Wall Street Journal:

The bureau said China’s nominal GDP, evaluated at current market prices without adjustment for inflation, reached 34 trillion yuan ($5 trillion) in 2009. At last year’s average exchange rate, China remained the world’s third-largest economy, behind Japan with a 2009 GDP of just over $5 trillion.

According to the statistics bureau’s revised figures, China’s tertiary industry output grew 9.3% last year, up from the previously reported 8.9%, while its secondary industry output rose 9.9%, up from 9.5%. Primary industry growth was unchanged at 4.2%.

China revises its preliminary GDP data at least twice, as more information becomes available, in line with international practice.

The Washington Post also reports on China’s 2009 growth, spurred in part by investment in industry:

Beijing propelled its recovery from the global slump with a 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) stimulus and record 2009 bank lending of 9.6 trillion yuan ($1.4 trillion). But communist leaders worry that drove overspending on factories and other facilities, which could lead to economic problems if producers are forced to slash prices in glutted markets or cannot repay bank loans.

[…] Makers of steel and textiles are likely to be hit hardest because they have the biggest oversupply and foreign demand for their goods is weak, said Lu Zhengwei, senior economist for Industrial Bank in Shanghai.

[…] The government also has warned of overcapacity in cement, glass, polysilicon used for solar panels and wind power equipment. It says new facilities must meet higher environmental standards and it will shut down small steel mills.

The Cabinet is trying to promote industrial consolidation and the closure of outdated steel mills and other facilities, and announced Thursday that it will promote mergers among Chinese companies. Authorities said they wanted companies to use stimulus money to improve technology and are trying to force older facilities to close, often triggering resistance by local leaders who object to job losses.


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