China Announces Blistering 11.1% Growth

Economy was boosted by a trade surplus and a massive investment in infrastructure.

In the first quarter of 2007 China's grew at 11.1%, the government said April 19 as it called for fresh measures to put the country on a more sustainable course. The rapid expansion and acceleration of the economy in the first three months of the year is likely to have been boosted by a trade surplus and massive investment in infrastructure.

"We must carefully carry out all policies of the central government and continue to strengthen and improve macro-economic control measures," Li Xiaochao, spokesman of the National Bureau of Statistics said.

Growth in the world's fourth-largest economy was 10.7% in 2006 and ran at 10.4% in the three months to December. The first three months of 2007 also saw the highest quarterly growth rate since the second quarter of last year, when the economy expanded 11.5%, according to revised government data.

The acceleration has come about despite a series of cooling measures adopted by the government since early last year, including interest rate hikes and reduction of tax incentives for exporters. "Investment and credit are rising fast, and the trade surplus is large," said Ma Qing, an analyst with Citic Securities in Beijing. "As a result, the macro-control measures introduced so far have not had a big impact," said.

Industrial output expanded 18.3%, boosted by massive investment in new plant and equipment in recent years, alongside booming exports.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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