China's economy expands to 10.7 per cent

The gross domestic product (GDP) reached 33.54 trillion yuan ($4.91 trillion) in 2009, Ma Jiantang, director of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), said on Thursday.
China's economy rose 10.7 percent year on year in the fourth quarter last year. This compared with 6.2 per cent growth in the first quarter, 7.9 per cent in the second quarter, and 9.1 per cent in the third quarter, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to the NBS, in 2009, the value-added of the primary sector topped 3.55 trillion yuan, up 4.2 per cent from a year earlier; that of the industrial sector stood at 15.70 trillion yuan, up 9.5 per cent year on year; and the tertiary sector, the service sector, reported value-added totalling 14.29 trillion yuan, up 8.9 per cent. "Last year is the most difficult one for China's economy in the new century," said Ma. "Thanks to government's efforts to deal with various difficulties, the country's economy ended accelerating slide and began to recover as a whole."

Ma attributed the recovery mainly to the implementation of the proactive fiscal policy and moderately loose monetary policy, as well as the stimulus package adopted by the government to cope with the global financial crisis. He described the country's economic development last year as a "harvest", saying the newly released figures confirmed a V-shaped recovery of the economy from the world economic downturn. Since November 2008, the Chinese government has adopted a series of stimulus measures including a 4-trillion yuan investment package, tax cuts, and consumer subsidies to shore up growth and employment.

As an important component of the stimulus package, the country also launched revitalisation scheme for 10 major industries, including steel, car making, textile and machinery, to which the government devoted huge investments. The country also put forward preferential policies to encourage sales of home appliance, cars and motorbikes in rural areas. More government investment came to infrastructure, scientific research and public service.

Meanwhile, the government shifted from a tight monetary policy in 2008 to the moderately easy monetary policy in 2009 to help the national economy counter adverse impacts of the financial crisis. Figures from the People's Bank of China, or the central bank, showed that China's new yuan-denominated lending last year hit a record 9.59 trillion yuan, nearly double that of the previous year.

As the stimulus package conducive for the recovery of the economy. China's valued-added of industry rose 11 per cent in 2009 from a year earlier. Retail sales rose 16.9 per cent year on year, while fixed-asset investment rose 30.1 per cent. Yu Yongding, a research fellow with Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told Xinhua that the government's stimulus package was a success in "risk control". But some measures did not serve a balanced economy. "The government should focus more on structure adjustment."

Zhang Liqun, a researcher with the Development Research Center of the State Council, echoed Yu by saying heavy investment and strong consumption had driven the economic growth to accelerate quarter on quarter last year. "The country needs to seek balanced development pattern to seek sustainable development," Zhang said.

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