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Output drops as financial crisis pinches

SHANGHAI'S industrial output tumbled 12.7 percent in the first two months of this year on an annual basis and it was the third consecutive drop since November as more sectors in the city began to feel the effects of the deepening global financial crisis, its statistics bureau said yesterday.

Industrial production in January and last month reached 292.17 billion yuan (US$42.97 billion), according to the Shanghai Statistics Bureau.

The city posted slower growth in its industrial output in September and October, and the output started to decline from November.

"With the global financial crisis spreading, an increasing number of industries in the city became exposed to the impact of the economic meltdown. Most sectors witnessed a drop in production," the bureau said.

It attributed the drop in output to shrinking overseas demand for industrial products. Exports of these products dropped 21.2 percent to 86.19 billion yuan in the first two months from a year ago after they fell 3.9 percent in December.

A total of 28 sectors out of 34 in the city suffered negative output growth, with production in 10 sectors tumbling more than 20 percent. In contrast, only three sectors saw output drop while production in 19 sectors jumped sharply in the same period last year.

The city's six key industries - auto making, electronics manufacturing, petrochemicals, high-quality steel making, medical and pharmaceuticals - suffered an average decline of 14.7 percent in output this period. Output in high-quality steel making fell 27.9 percent and electronics manufacturing dropped 19.1 percent.

Shanghai's economic growth slowed to 9.7 percent last year, the first single-digit performance since 1992.


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