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China's rising consumption helps drive economic growth: official
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13:04, July 19, 2007

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China's consumption is seen lending more strength to the country's economic growth while investment slowed down in the first half this year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Thursday.

China's investment in fixed assets in the first half went up by 25.9 percent year on year, 3.9 percentage points lower than a year earlier, said NBS spokesman Li Xiaochao.

Retail sales in the first half rose 15.4 percent, which is 2.1 percentage points higher than the figure of the same period last year, he said.

"Consumption is making greater contribution to the country's economic growth," which rose 11.5 percent in the first half of the year, Li added.

"The changes in domestic demand since the beginning of the year are what we have expected," he said.

Li attributed the fast growth in consumption to the rapid growth in people's income and spending.

The good performance of Chinese enterprises in recent years and the government subsidies for low-income residents and farmers as well as higher minimum wages for rural workers helped increase the income of urban and rural residents, Li said.

As the government has put more in education, medicare and housing, the people are inclined to spend more, which resulted in growing sales of automobiles, consumer electronics, housing and furniture, Li added.

Source: Xinhua

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