Shanghai unveils mixed bag of figures

11:06, February 16, 2011      

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SHANGHAI reported a mixed bag of economic figures in January as its industrial production growth moderated but the city's foreign trade performed strongly, the Shanghai Statistics Bureau said yesterday.

But the city is not resting on its laurels after the World Expo 2010 because it is still aiming for a 20-percent growth in overseas investment, a 12-percent increase in sales of consumer goods and a 10-percent rise in trading of goods - all higher than what have been achieved last year, the Shanghai Commission of Commerce said.

"Shanghai will continue to open up its markets and accelerate the pace of economic reform to facilitate commerce, expand consumption and benefit people," Vice Mayor Tang Dengjie said when he addressed business leaders and foreign consuls in a briefing on the city's commerce and investment.

However, data from the bureau showed that industrial production weakened in January.

Industrial output grew 14 percent from a year earlier to 255.7 billion yuan (US$38.8 billion) last month, slower than 2010's average of 18.4 percent. The weaker growth may be due to less output ahead of the Spring Festival holiday, said Xue Jun, an analyst at CITIC Securities Co.

Production of the six key industries in Shanghai - electronics, automobiles, oil refinery, fine steel, machinery equipment and biomedicine - slowed to an annual 11.7 percent in January, less than the average of 14 percent.

"It is a bit worrisome that the strategic industries moderated more quickly," Xue said. "And there have been reports of shortages of labor in eastern China as many migrant workers choose to stay at home because they can find a similar job there."

The good news is that Shanghai's export and import trade boomed last month.

Exports jumped 24.4 percent to US$16.4 billion and imports surged 46 percent to US$18.7 billion.

Source:Shanghai Daily
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