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GDP may slow for 9th quarter

By Chen Jia and Du Juan  (China Daily)

08:00, September 26, 2012

A railway bridge under construction on the Liupanshui-Zhanyi line in Xuanwei, Yunnan province. The railway is expected to go into operation at the end of this year.CAO NING / FOR CHINA DAILY

China's economic growth is likely to slow for its ninth consecutive quarter in the period from July to September, top policy advisers said on Tuesday.

If their predictions prove true, the government may find itself taking "remarkable measures" to combat the slump, they said.

Zheng Xinli, deputy head of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, a government think tank, said China’s economic data for August has turned out worse than expected and the economy’s prospects remain gloomy. Amid those circumstances,the country’s GDP is unlikely to grow at a faster pace in the fourth quarter.

"The urgent need right now is to clarify what are the most effective ways to boost domestic demand," Zheng said.

He said growth can perhaps be best accelerated through expenditures on household goods, infrastructure, public utilities and modernized agriculture.

The dim economic indicators for August may push authorities to more aggressively fine-tune economic policy in the short term, economists said.

In August, the year-on-year growth rate for industrial output decreased to 8.9 percent, down from 9.2 percent in July. The August number was the lowest in the past 39 months, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

Meanwhile, the country used 37.87 million metric tons of oil in August, down 1.5 percent year-on-year. That was the lowest monthly amount since September 2011, according to the New York-based energy and metals information provider Platts.

Song Yenling, senior analyst at Platts, said the decrease in demand results from the current economic slowdown and a reduction in industrial activity.

"The government’s stimulus policies will take effect in the second half, which will drive up the country’s oil consumption," Song said.

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