China growth rises to 9.8% in Q4, inflation eases in December

20 January 2011 07:05  [Source: ICIS news]

GUANGZHOU (ICIS)--China’s GDP grew at a faster pace of 9.8% in the fourth quarter of 2010, while inflation slowed to 4.6% in December, official statistics showed on Thursday.

The country’s economic expansion had accelerated from 9.6% in the third quarter of 2010, while its consumer price index (CPI) – the main gauge of inflation – fell from 5.1% in November, based on data released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The world’s second-biggest economy grew by 10.3% in 2010, up from 9.2% in 2009. Its CPI rose 3.3% last year, compared to a 0.7% drop in 2009, the data showed.

Analysts said the figures were largely in line with the market and Chinese government’s expectations. China had targeted 10% GDP growth and to keep inflation at around 3% in 2010.

Meanwhile, the country’s producer price index (PPI) – a gauge of prices at the factory and farm gate – increased by 5.9% in December year on year. However, the figure was slightly lower from November’s 6.1%, the NBS said.

China’s PPI rose by 5.5% in 2010, versus a contraction of 5.4% a year earlier, based on the data.

The country’s fixed asset investments grew by 23.8% year on year, while its industrial sector posted 15.7% growth in 2010, 4.7 percentage points higher than the previous year, according to the NBS.

Looking ahead, analysts said they predicted this year’s growth would be at around 9%, as the Chinese government has shifted its focus to sustainable growth instead of absolute figures and the country’s rising inflation would remain a big challenge.

“We expect inflation to linger at 4-4.5% this year, but it will still require a lot of work to rein it in and retain the health of the overall economy,” said Zhang Junfeng, an analyst at Shenzhen-based brokerage house China Merchants Securities.

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By: Fanny Zhang
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