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April 29, 2016

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Economy posts sectoral stability

CHINA’S economy got off to a good start this year as there were signs of stabilization in various sectors, but strong headwinds remain as it reforms and restructures, government departments said yesterday.

The growth pace in China’s industrial sector improved in the first quarter, with manufacturing leading as the implementation of the “Made in China 2025” strategy helped with structural adjustment, Zheng Lixin, spokesman for the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, told a press conference.

The telecommunication sector was also on a sound footing and saw broadband infrastructure built quickly, he said.

Profits of industrial companies gained 7.4 percent year on year in the first quarter, faster than the rise of 4.8 percent in the first two months. The data joined an array of better-than-expected figures that showed the world’s second-largest economy is quite resilient.

Despite the positive signs, the industrial sector still faces challenges amid weak external demand and structural imbalance that have pushed some companies into operating difficulties, Zheng noted.

In a separate statement yesterday, the National Development and Reform Commission said China’s economy grew within a reasonable range in the first three months despite a complex environment and uncertainties at home and abroad.

The rebound was marked with stable employment and consumer prices, as well as faster growth of investment, industrial output and fiscal revenue, the top economic planner said.

China also progressed in its economic restructuring, with the service sector contributing 56.9 percent to the total economy in the first quarter, up 2 percentage points from the same period of last year, the NDRC said.

It emphasized that China is striving to steer its growth mode toward greater reliance on services and consumption.

“Further efforts should be made to promote structural reform, especially supply-side reform, to boost demand and consolidate the good pace.”


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