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City industrial output plunges 21.4% on slowdown, holiday

SHANGHAI'S industrial output tumbled more than 21 percent last month due to the impact of the global financial crisis and the Lunar New Year holiday, the city's statistics bureau has said.

Industrial output dived 21.4 percent in January from a year earlier to 142.55 billion yuan (US$21 billion) and the monthly decline widened 7.8 percentage points from December, according to the Shanghai Statistics Bureau.

The city's industrial output growth has slowed since September and January's figure was a decline for a third month.

''The city's industrial output has been severely hit by slumping global demand as a fallout of the financial crisis. The Lunar New Year break was also an important factor for the lower output,'' said Zheng Weimei from the bureau.

The holiday fell in January this year and the month saw three fewer working days than in January of 2008. Industrial output would have dropped 12.7 percent on an annual basis if the impact of the holiday break were excluded, city authorities said.

Exports of industrial products continued to fall due to shrinking overseas demand. Trade fell by a further 28 percent from a year ago to 39.97 billion yuan after dropping 3.9 percent in December.

The city's six key industries - auto-making, electronics manufacturing, petrochemicals, high-quality steel manufacturing, medical and pharmaceutical - suffered an average drop of 22.7 percent in industrial output.

Production in the auto-making industry decreased 19.4 percent and electronics manufacturing industry declined 27.6 percent.

Support packages to bolster the country's 10 key sectors have all been rolled out as of yesterday, including recent efforts to promote mergers among auto makers and additional investment to promote the expansion of high-tech services such as 3G mobile communications.

Shanghai's economic growth slowed to 9.7 percent last year, the first single-digit performance since 1992, compared with a 13.3 percent jump in 2007.

The value of the gross domestic product of the city reached 1.37 trillion yuan last year.


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