Xinhua News Agency

Holidays bring cut in output

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 November, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 November, 1999, 12:00am

The mainland's industrial output growth slackened last month, due to longer National Day holidays and falling state investment, according to the latest official data and economists.

Last month, industrial output rose 7 per cent year on year to 181.8 billion yuan (about HK$169.7 billion), down from 8.1 per cent in September and 9.5 per cent in August, Xinhua news agency reported, citing the State Statistical Bureau.

The bureau attributed the slowdown to unusually long holidays which covered the first whole week of the month to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the People's Republic.

It said the slowdown also reflected a 'higher comparative base' for the same month last year when industrial output surged sharply following a spending spree funded through a 100 billion yuan state debt issue.

But economists said yesterday the slower than expected growth also reflected weak state investment.

They said industrial output for the last quarter should be higher despite the National Day holidays as factories rev up production to meet annual targets.

Beijing said it would inject 60 billion yuan into the economy this year as part of the economic stimulus package.

In the first 10 months, industrial output rose 9.1 per cent year on year to 1.62 trillion yuan, with the growth rate down from 9.3 per cent in the first three quarters.

Last month alone, output growth by the state sector and collectively owned firms slowed while growth by foreign-funded enterprises remained flat, Xinhua said.

Output of the state sector rose 6.8 per cent to 104.5 billion yuan while that of foreign-funded firms rose 12.3 per cent to 38.9 billion yuan.

Last month, output by heavy industries rose 7.6 per cent to 103.7 billion yuan while light industries posted a 6.2 per cent rise in output to 78.1 billion yuan, Xinhua said.

With a strong recovery in exports, the mainland's industrial firms delivered goods for exports worth 102.4 billion yuan, up 9.4 per cent year on year.

In the first 10 months, the value of goods for exports rose 8.1 per cent year on year, 2.4 percentage points higher than in the first half of this year.