Shanghai posts 8.2% growth in GDP

08:13, January 25, 2010      

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Shanghai's economy secured a year-on-year growth of 8.2 percent in 2009, with faster expansion in the service industry countering a slower pace in manufacturing, the Shanghai Statistics Bureau said Friday.

The gross domestic product in Shanghai last year jumped to 1.49 trillion yuan (218 billion U.S. dollars), with annualized rates in the four quarters settling at 3.1 percent, 7.9 percent, 9.8 percent and 11.2 percent, respectively.

"Shanghai's economic performance has presented a clear trend of recovery," the bureau's chief economist Cai Xuchu said Friday. "Weak external demand may remain a drag on the city's growth this year, but the overall economic conditions have been improved significantly."

The yearly 8.2-percent growth rate trailed behind an increase of 9.7 percent in 2008 and 13.3 percent in 2007, making last year the second in a row to show a slowdown in growth after Shanghai had run at a double-digit pace for 16 years.

"The financial crisis is an apparent factor to deter the growth. But the slowdown is also a natural response to the city's efforts of revamping its economic structure," Cai said.

Benefiting from years of reform, Shanghai's service industry accounted for 59.4 percent of the city's total output last year, up 3.4 percentage points from 2008.

Production in the service sector gained 12.6 percent on an annual basis last year. The manufacturing industry edged up 3.1 percent. The agricultural sector contracted 1.1 percent.

Companies in financial, real estate and retail markets were three star performers in Shanghai's service sector.

Addressing a question on the growing expectation of inflation, Cai said consumer prices in Shanghai will register a mild, controllable growth this year.

He said prices will rise because of higher costs in public services like water, transport and health care. A credit market with ample liquidity may accelerate the pace, he said.

"But it will be mild and within control," Cai said.

Shanghai's Consumer Price Index fell 0.4 percent in 2009 from a year earlier because of constant decreases after February. The losing streak ended in November. The CPI gained 1.2 percent last month mainly from price rises in food.

Shanghai's fixed-asset investment last year expanded 9.2 percent from a year earlier, to 527.3 billion yuan. That included 146.4 million yuan spent on property development.

Retail sales in the city last year gained 14 percent to 517.3 billion yuan. Exports declined 16.2 percent to 141.9 billion dollars.

Disposable income of Shanghai dwellers last year jumped 8.1 percent to 28,838 yuan. The city's unemployment rate stood at 4.3 percent, virtually unchanged from a year earlier.

Shanghai has set this year's GDP growth target at over eight percent.

Source: Shanghai Daily

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