China's Industrial Output Up 16.1% In July

China's industrial output rose 16.1% from a year earlier in July, a slowdown suggesting curbs on real estate investment have helped brake the blistering economy, official data showed August 15. Monday. The July figure for factory-gate goods, which amounted to 581.1 billion yuan (US$71.6 billion) compared with a rise of 16.8% in June from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics reported. In the first seven months to July industrial output increased 16.3% compared with a growth rate of 17.3% a year earlier and 16.4% in the first half.

China's persistent power shortages, a problem that has plagued China for the past three years, was also impacting the output of factory goods explained. Dong Tao, an economist at Credit Suisse First Boston

Beijing has tried to engineer a partial slowdown of the economy, which last quarter expanded at 9.4%, but high oil prices are also to blame for trimming corporate profits and therefore production.

Looking at individual sectors of the economy, China's cement output, an industry closely linked to property construction rose 7.4% in July, down from more than 17% earlier last year. Vehicle production soared 27.8%. The production of coal rose 10.8% in July while chemicals, non-metal sectors and heavy industries gained between 18.7 and 21.3% on an annual basis. Production of foods, medical goods, and clothing and accessories and other light industries rose between 18 and 28.5%.

China's steel industry, the world's largest, which is undergoing a major restructuring in hopes of making it more competitive, continued to see strong growth despite slowing demand. Pig iron production jumped 30.7% while crude steel rose 28.6% and steel products manufacturing was up 28%.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2005

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