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Spending on core sector up

[ 2009-05-13 13:28]     字号 [] [] []  
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Fixed asset investment continued to surge in April thanks to the government's stimulus package, but the nation's exports dropped further, reflecting weaker demand in overseas markets.

The nation's spending on fixed assets such as roads, bridges and new plants grew 30.5 percent in the first four months from a year earlier. That compares with a 28.6 percent surge in the first quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday.

Meanwhile, exports dropped 22.6 percent from a year earlier to $91.94 billion in April, the Customs said yesterday. This was steeper than March's 17.1 percent decline. Imports slumped 23 percent in April, compared with a 25.1 percent decline in March.

"We expect fixed asset investment to be the single most important contributor to China's GDP growth in 2009," Jing Ulrich, chairwoman of China Equities at JPMorgan said in Beijing yesterday. Ulrich reckoned that investment could account for 45 percent of China's economy this year, if it maintains a growth rate between 25 percent and 30 percent for the rest of the year.

Analysts said the recent recovery of the housing market was likely to lend more support to investment growth. Real estate investment, accounting for more than one third of the nation's fixed asset investment, grew 4.9 percent in the first four months of the year, up from 4.1 percent for the first quarter.

Meanwhile, the pickup in housing prices may also help fuel investment in the sector. According to the National Development and Reform Commission, average housing prices in the 70 major cities edged up 0.4 percent in April from a month earlier, although it represented a 1.1 percent drop from a year earlier.

Investment represented 42 percent of China's GDP, compared with consumption's 48 percent and net exports' 9 percent. Analysts have long criticized the economy's excessive reliance on investment and exports, which make it particularly vulnerable to economic fluctuation abroad.

"In the short run, the rise of government-led investment is necessary to stabilize the economy," Ulrich said. "But the money should not be spent on building new manufacturing capacity, given the prevalent capacity in some industries."

Investment related to the government stimulus package is expected to help cushion the impact of the drastic decline in foreign demand.

The nation's foreign trade sector provided more than 80 million job opportunities, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement yesterday. It said the nation's foreign trade sector is still facing serious challenges, despite the government's move to boost the sector.

The World Trade Organization estimated that global trade is likely to drop 9 percent in 2009, the steepest decline since World War II.

China's leading trade fair, the Canton Fair, concluded last Thursday with export orders down 17 percent, which analysts said was a sign of further weakness of the sector.


1. How much did exports drop in China compared to a year earlier?

2. According to the chairwoman of China Equities at JPMorgan in Beijing what is the single most important contributor to China’s GDP growth this year?

3. What was the advice the chairwoman mentioned concerning where the stimulus investment funds should not be directed towards?


1. 22.6 percent.

2. Fixed asset investment.

3. On building new manufacturing capacity.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Spending on core sector up

Spending on core sector upBrendan joined The China Daily in 2007 as a language polisher in the Language Tips Department, where he writes a regular column for Chinese English Language learners, reads audio news for listeners and anchors the weekly video news in addition to assisting with on location stories. Elsewhere he writes Op’Ed pieces with a China focus that feature in the Daily’s Website opinion section.

He received his B.A. and Post Grad Dip from Curtin University in 1997 and his Masters in Community Development and Management from Charles Darwin University in 2003. He has taught in Japan, England, Australia and most recently China. His articles have featured in the Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times, The Asia News Network and in-flight magazines.