Shanghai's economy surges
Shanghai's economy expanded 12.5 per cent in the first quarter of the year, outpacing the 12 per cent growth for all of last year, despite official pledges to slow the city's economy.
Gross domestic product was valued at 262.5 billion yuan for the first three months, local media reported.
In January, Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng forecast economic growth of 9 per cent for the year, which was widely interpreted as a move to end 15 years of double-digit increases.
Shanghai's economic growth was helped by consumption in the first quarter, as retail sales rose at their quickest pace since 1998 - 13.2 per cent. Retail sales for all of last year rose 13 per cent to 336 billion yuan, official figures showed.
Investment and exports were also strong, the media reports said, but gave no figures.
Real estate consultants Jones Lang LaSalle yesterday said supply of 'grade A' offices was expected to remain tight until 2010 - when Shanghai hosts the World Expo - in part because of delays to major projects. In the first quarter of this year, sales of luxury apartments slowed, while rents continued to rise, the firm said.