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Chinese economy grows 9.9% in 2005

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China's robust economy saw another strong growth of 9.9 percent in 2005 after 9.5 percent growth in 2004, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Tuesday.

According to the NBS's Statistics on the national economy and social development in 2005 released here, China's gross domestic product (GDP)totaled 18,232.1 billion yuan, or about 2,279 billion U.S. dollars.

Agriculture accounted for 12.4 percent of the GDP, compared to 47.3 percent from industry and 40.3 percent from services sector.

Though the country's arable land decreased by another 362,000 hectares, its grain production increased by 3.1 percent to 484.01 million tons. Cotton output declined by 9.8 percent to 5.7 million tons.

In the industrial sector, state-owned companies saw their profit go up by 17.4 percent, compared to 47.3 percent for private enterprises. Overseas-invested companies recorded the lowest growth rate in profits, which stood at 6.9 percent.

China, already the world's biggest producer of many industrial products, saw another double-digital growth in many such products.

In 2005, it generated 2,474.7 billion kilowatt/hours of electricity, produced 2.19 billion tons of coal, 397 million tons of steel, 1.06 billion tons of cement and 5.7 million vehicles.

China's foreign trade continued its dynamic growth. Its trade volume soared by 23.2 percent to 1,422.1 billion dollars, with a trade surplus of 101.9 billion dollars.

Overseas-invested enterprises accounted for 831.7 billion dollars of the Chinese trade volume, standing for nearly 60 percent of the national total.

China approved 44,001 overseas-invested projects in 2005, slightly up by 0.8 percent. But actual overseas investment slid by 0.5 percent to 60.3 billion dollars.

China's overseas investment rocketed by 25.8 percent in 2005, reaching a new high of 6.9 billion dollars.

The living standards of the Chinese people continued to improve in 2005, as indicated by the two-digit growth in the sales of cars, electrical appliances, furniture, jewelry and other consumer products.

By the end of 2005, China's private-owned vehicles amounted to 23.65 million, up 22 percent over a year ago.

New figures also reflected challenges facing the country, such as the increasing wealth gap and environmental pollution.

The average net income for China's rural residents amounted to 3,255 yuan (407 dollars) in 2005, less than one third of the 10,493 yuan (1,312 dollars) for their urban counterparts.

China's environment improved slightly in some aspects, but the general situation remains gloomy.

By the end of 2005, about 48.4 percent of the waste water in Chinese cities was treated before being discharged, slightly up over the previous year.

At the same time, over one third of the 523 monitored cities were shrouded in pollution air, while 41 percent of the water in China's largest seven rivers is also polluted.

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