China's economy expands 9.7% in Q1

Updated: 2011-04-15 10:10


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China's economy expanded 9.7 percent in the first quarter of 2011 from a year earlier, and 2.1 percent from the previous quarter to 9,631.1 billion yuan (US$1,459.3 billion), the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Friday.

"The national economy has a good beginning given the steady and relatively fast growth," said Sheng Laiyun, spokesman of the NBS.

Consumer prices rose 5.4 percent in March from a year ago, a 32-month high, said the NBS. The country aims to hold inflation at around 4 percent for the full year.

China's economy expands 9.7% in Q1

Retail sales, which measure consumer spending in China, rose 16.3 percent year on year in the first quarter, compared to 15.8 percent during the first two months.

The State Council, or China's Cabinet, has pledged to continue the country's prudent monetary policy to rein in soaring prices.

"Judging from the inflation situation in the first quarter, we are still under great pressure of price hikes," said Premier Wen Jiabao at an executive meeting of the cabinet on Wednesday, adding, "We should never lower our guard."

Foreign trade and investment, two key drivers of the country's economy, both accelerated in the first quarter.

The foreign trade volume surged 29.5 percent to US$800.3 billion, with a trade deficit of US$1 billion in the first quarter.

Urban fixed asset investment rose 25 percent to 3.9465 trillion yuan, with investment in the property sector rising 34.1 percent year on year to 884.6 billion yuan, according to the NBS.

China has set its GDP target for 2011 at 8 percent.


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