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China's textile industry growth slows in Q1

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BEIJING - China's textile industry, which contributes significantly to the country's exports, posted slower growth in the first quarter of 2012 due to weak external demand, according to National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) data released on Thursday.

Industrial output by major textile enterprises rose 14.7 percent year-on-year to reach 1.24 trillion yuan ($197 billion) in the first three months of this year, marking a slowdown of 16.92 percentage points from a year ago, the new figures showed.

The combined profits of major textile companies dipped 2.21 percent year-on-year to 33.42 billion yuan between January and February, compared with an increase of 61 percent in the same period of last year.

In the first quarter, fixed-asset investment in the textile industry totaled 117.81 billion yuan, up 17 percent over a year ago. The growth rate was 21.51 percentage points lower than last year.

The NDRC data showed China exported $20.44 billion worth of textiles and $29.57 billion worth of garments from January to March, at a year-on-year growth rate of 1.4 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively.

The export growth of textiles and garments represented a slowdown of 31.3 percentage points and 14.5 percentage points, respectively.

However, retail sales of textile products, including clothes and footwear, in the domestic market amounted to 240.9 billion yuan, up 14.6 percent over the same period of last year.

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