China GDP Grows 10.2% In First Quarter

On the back of fast-paced trade growth, China's gross domestic product grew by 10.2% in the first quarter of this year, Chinese President Hu Jintao said on April 16. "The mainland economy maintained good developmental momentum with our GDP in the first quarter rising by 10.2% and import and export trade up by 25%," Hu said.

China's economy expanded by 9.9% in 2005, including 9.9% in the fourth quarter of last year.

"We are paying more attention to the transformation of the mode of growth, resource conservation, environmental protection and more importantly the improvement of the lives of the people," Hu said.

"The 10.2% GDP growth in the first quarter is realistic because we saw that electricity consumption grew by 11% in the first quarter," Andy Xie, Hong Kong-based chief economist for Asia Pacific for Morgan Stanley, said.

In December, China overtook Italy as the world's sixth biggest economy when Beijing said it had massively underestimated the size of its own economy, mainly due to miscalculations in the services sector. By January, China's economy had become the world's fourth biggest, overtaking France and Britain.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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