Local, National GDP Gap Shows Chinese Economy Growing Even Faster

The economies in three quarters of China's provinces expanded at 12% or more in the first six months, above the national figure of 10.9%, the country's key economic planner said. All 31 mainland provinces reported double-digit growth rates in the first half, while 23 recorded growth above 12%, the National Development and Reform Commission said Aug. 8.

If the provincial GDP figures were added, the current size of China's economy would be $100 billion bigger than the country's official GDP of about $1.1 trillion for the first six months.

According to the commission's report, Inner Mongolia in the north topped the list of revved up local economies with an expansion of 18.2% since 2003. Among other standouts were coastal provinces Jiangsu with 15.4% growth and Shandong at 15.3%, while Tianjin municipality in the north and Guandong in the south each reported at 14.4%.

Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, at a teleconference last month demanded adherence to Beijing's macro economic directives. "All localities and departments must unify their thinking and bring it in line with the central government's assessment of the current economic trends," Wen said in remarks carried on July 27.

In December last year China adjusted upwards the size of its economy by nearly $300 billion to catapult the nation to the status of the fourth largest of world economies.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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