China's Industrial Output Picks Up In May

In a further illustration of the Asian nation's stubbornly strong economic momentum, China's industrial output picked up in May with a year-on-year gain of 17.9%, the government said June 14, Value-added industrial output for state-owned and large non-state enterprises rose to 706 billion yuan (US$88 billion) in May, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

The 17.9% rise in May was higher than the gain of 16.6% in April and 16.7% in the first quarter.

Industrial exports were again one of the main growth drivers in May, rising 23% year-on-year to 475.5 billion yuan, in another worrying political sign for China as it seeks to rein in its fast ballooning trade surplus. China announced June 12 that its trade surplus reached a record $13 billion in May and $46.79 billion for the first five months of the year. Last year's record surplus was $ 101.9 billion.

In other figures released on June 14, growth in China's automotive industry remained robust with the nation producing 620,000 vehicles, up 28.4%.

Analysts said the current industrial output numbers, along with the trade figures and other data showing inflation had risen to 1.4%, had again shown that government efforts to slow the economy had not yet taken effect.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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