China's regional growth indicates economy bottoming out
Updated: 2015-10-29 16:03
BEIJING - China's central and western provinces reported stronger economic growth than their eastern peers during the first three quarters, indicating easing measures may have began to take effect.
At least 27 provincial-level regions in China unveiled their gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the third quarter of this year on Thursday. A total of 17 reported faster GDP growth in the first three quarters than in the first half year, six of them stayed flat, and four regions slowed.
Many attributed stronger growth to a recovery in the property sector, resilient consumption, especially online, and continued growth of emerging industries.
The landlocked western and central provinces have shown stronger growth than their more developed coastal counterparts, with southwestern Chongqing municipality ranking at the top with 11 percent GDP growth in the first three quarters.
Meanwhile, Beijing, Shanghai and eastern Zhejiang province reported slower growth in the first three quarters than the first half, amid what local officials say is an economic restructuring toward service and tech-intensive industries.
Quarterly growth of the Chinese economy moderated to a six year low of 6.9 percent in the third quarter this year.
Rise of the west
Economic powerhouse Chongqing has retained the top spot for growth among all Chinese provincial-level regions for seven straight months. Chongqing was followed by Guizhou province, also located in the southwest, with 10.8 percent year-on-year growth during the same period.
Consumption-driven growth has been a major contributing factor for their economies, with retail sales in Chongqing and Guizhou growing by 12.3 and 11.5 percent in the first three quarters respectively, above the national average of 10.5 percent.
Zhang Fumin, vice director of the Chongqing Statistics Bureau, also attributed Chongqing's outstanding economic growth to the robust development of manufacturing and the high-tech industry.
The city's manufacturing sector maintained relatively rapid growth, with auto and IT, its two backbone industries, growing 13.4 and 24.8 percent respectively for the first three quarters.
Zhang said the high-tech sector has become a new growth engine, offsetting the impact of slowing traditional industries.
Guizhou's restructuring has proven a healthy source of growth for the province. The economy is reducing its reliance on coal mining and nurturing new areas such as tourism and a more competitive agriculture sector, according to Hu Xiaodeng, professor with Guizhou Academy of Social Sciences, a government think tank.