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City economy grows by 7.5% as pace picks up

By Wang Yanlin   (Shanghai Daily)

09:04, January 22, 2013

Shanghai's economy expanded 7.5 percent in 2012 compared to a year earlier but fell short of the city's target of around 8 percent, data showed yesterday.

The growth rate slowed from 2011's 8.2 percent increase, and was slightly weaker than the nation's average of 7.8 percent.

However, it was picking up, with 7 percent expansion in the first quarter of last year, 7.2 percent in first half and 7.4 percent in the first three quarters, the Shanghai Statistics Bureau said.

"Shanghai is among the first batch of cities exhibiting signs of recovery," said Yan Jun, chief economist at the bureau. "The performance of Shanghai has been stabilizing, with better growth quality and growing efficiency."

The slower expansion rate compared to the national average was mainly due to weakening exports and the city's faster restructuring, Yan said.

Thanks to the accelerating economic upgrading, the output of Shanghai's service industry accounted for 60 percent of its total gross domestic product which totalled 2.01 trillion yuan (US$319 billion) last year.

The service sector rose 10.6 percent year on year to 1.2 trillion yuan in 2012, contributing 82.7 percent in last year's overall growth, and it was led by a surge of 12.6 percent in the financial industry, bringing the city closer to its goal of becoming a global financial center. The manufacturing sector gained 3.1 percent to 791.3 billion yuan last year, and the agricultural sector edged up 0.5 percent to 12.8 billion yuan.

With only 0.06 percent of China's land, 1.8 percent of its population and 1.7 percent of its investment, Shanghai produced more than 4 percent of the nation's overall economic output, Yan said.

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