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China says industrial output growth to jump in 2Q

The trade-dependent Chinese economy, the world's third-largest, has been severely hit by the global financial crisis, but Beijing has announced various packages and tax incentives to spur the economy. Photo courtesy of AFP.
by Staff Writers
Shanghai (AFP) May 22, 2009
China on Friday said industrial output is expected to rise eight percent in the second quarter and exceed ten percent in the second half of the year as stimulus measures kick in.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology forecast the second quarter would post a jump from the 15-year low of 5.1 percent growth seen in the first three months of the year.

"The overall situation in both heavy and light industries is turning positive," the ministry said in a report on its website.

"The rapid pace of decline in production in some regions and industries has already slowed, while companies become more adaptable to the economic downturn and market fluctuations," the ministry said.

China's eastern coastal regions, the powerhouse of the country's economy, recorded 6.7 percent growth in industrial output in April, three percentage points higher than the first quarter, the report said.

The trade-dependent Chinese economy, the world's third-largest, has been severely hit by the global financial crisis, but Beijing has announced various packages and tax incentives to spur the economy.

The government at the end of last year unveiled a 590 billion dollar stimulus aimed at kickstarting the economy, which has been battered by the global slump.

Despite the optimistic outlook, the ministry also warned that weak external demand continued to be a big barrier to achieving a broad-based recovery.

"Reversing the downturn in industrial output growth should be placed as the top priority in economic plans... (We) should continue to boost domestic demand to promote industrial output growth," the report said.

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