Economic growth in Tibet slowed in the first half due to the impact of the March 14 riot in Lhasa and other factors, according to the regional head of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
Zhang Qingli, secretary of the Autonomous Regional Committee of the CPC, said, "We overcame difficulties and pushed ahead with economic work, keeping a steady and fast development momentum though main economic indicators suffered after the Lhasa riot."
The farming and finance sectors kept stable growth, while investment in social projects rose notably, he said.
GDP was 16.18 billion yuan (2.31 billion U.S. dollars) in the first half, a rise of 7.4 percent year-on-year, according to the regional bureau of statistics.
Agriculture rose 4.2 percent, industry 10.5 percent and the service sector 7.2 percent.
The GDP growth rate was 7.3 percentage points lower than that of the same period of 2007, with all three main sectors slowing, particularly industry and service trade, said Zhang.
The regional government reported revenue of 1.17 billion yuan, up 9.6 percent.
Retail sales were up 9.6 percent to 5.69 billion yuan and fixed asset investments rose 9.2 percent to 9.01 billion yuan, said Dadun, a statistician with the Tibet survey team of the National Bureau of Statistics.
"This is the most difficult year in recent years in terms of economic development," said regional government chairman Qiangba Puncog, citing the Lhasa riot and other factors.
Tourism was still trying to shake off the impact of the March 14 riot, according to a government briefing on Wednesday.
The riot caused a 69-percent decline in first-half tourist arrivals to just 342,000, said a government spokesman.
Qiangba Puncog said the external environment for economic and social development was improving while the state was giving more attention to economic development and stability in Tibet.