China's urban fixed assets investment up 26.7% in 1st 8 months 2007-09-14 11:13:03   Print

    BEIJING, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- Investment in fixed assets in China's urban districts rose 26.7 percent year-on-year in the first eight months, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Friday.

    The latest figure was slightly higher than the 26.6 percent for the first seven months.

    Urban fixed asset investment added up to 6.67 trillion yuan (886.97 billion U.S. dollars) in the first eight months, said the bureau.

    Investment in the primary industry enjoyed a 42.9-percent growth to 78.3 billion yuan and that of the secondary industry rose 29.5 percent to 2.96 trillion yuan. The tertiary industry witnessed an increase of 24.3 percent to 3.63 trillion yuan.

    Investment in the real estate sector registered a 29-percent year-on-year growth in the period, hitting 1.43 trillion yuan (190.2 billion U.S. dollars).

    A total of 149,751 new projects were launched during the first eight months, 18,665 more than a year earlier. The planned investment for these projects totaled 5.19 trillion yuan (690.2 billion U.S. dollars), up 16.7 percent year on year.

    China's fixed asset investment maintained a relatively stable level in the first four months, but it began to pick up in May, with the January-May figure up 25.9 percent, compared with 25.5 percent in the first four months and 24 percent for entire 2006.

    For the first half of this year, the figure was 26.7 percent. Figures for August alone were not provided.

    The NBS this week released a series of figures that provide a general picture of China's economy.

    Chinese retail sales in August rose 17.1 percent year-on-year to reach 711.7 billion yuan (94.6 billion U.S. dollars), up from 16.4 percent in the previous month.

    Another major economic barometer - the consumer price index (CPI)- went up by 6.5 percent in August, the highest monthly rise in 11 years, on food price hikes compared with the same period of last year.

    China's industrial output rose 17.5 percent in August, down from 18 percent in July and 19.4 percent in June.

    A central bank report published before the release of these figures warned that China's economy remains on the brink of overheating.

    The World Bank on Wednesday raised its forecast for China's 2007 economic growth to 11.3 percent from an earlier 10.4 percent and said the country's macroeconomic prospects were still good.

    Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said in a speech at the Summer Davos forum that the government should "give top priority to macro-regulation to prevent an already fast growing economy from becoming overheated".

    The government has taken various measures to ease liquidity and prevent the economy from overheating, such as the planned issuance of 1.55-trillion-yuan special treasury bonds.

    Chinese benchmark Shanghai Composite Index tumbled 4.5 percent on Tuesday following the August CPI announcement, which triggered fears of more tightening measures to control excessive liquidity.

    The nation has raised its benchmark one-year interest rates for four times this year, and elevated the reserve requirement ratio for the seventh time last Thursday to curb excess liquidity.

    It also reduced the tax on interest income from 20 percent to 5percent from Aug. 15, a gesture aimed to make bank accounts more attractive.

    Fan Jianping, forecasting department chief of the center under the National Development and Reform Commission, said earlier that China's economy may expand slightly slower in the second half of 2007 than the first half.

    He said the country's gross domestic product (GDP) would likely grow by 11.3 percent this year.

    China's GDP expanded 11.9 percent in the second quarter of this year, lifting first-half growth to 11.5 percent.

Editor: Lu Hui
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