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China's GDP increases 8.9% year-over-year

The economic expansion is being fueled by massive government spending. The country has seen modest improvements in exports and retail sales.

October 22, 2009|David Pierson

BEIJING — China's economy grew 8.9% in the third quarter compared with a year earlier as massive government spending continued to lead the nation out of the global economic crisis.

The figure, announced Thursday, keeps the nation on pace to meet the government's annual target of 8% growth in gross domestic product.

Beijing has used a $585-billion stimulus plan and $1.27 trillion in bank lending this year to drive the nation's recovery.

China has seen modest improvements in exports and retail sales, but investment continues to constitute the overwhelming bulk of the country's growth. About 88% of the country's GDP growth in the first half is tied to investment spending.

Policymakers said the nation's moderately loose bank lending will continue until the economy is on more stable ground. Their focus now will be on retooling the economy more toward sustainable, domestic growth.

"Having achieved the primary objective of stabilizing the domestic economy, authorities are increasingly turning their attention to improving the quality of growth," JP Morgan's chairman and managing director of China equities, Jing Ulrich, wrote Thursday. "As such, new measures have been introduced to curb expansion in industries that are prone to overcapacity, increase support for small and medium-sized businesses, and to nurture development in areas such as social welfare and environmental protection."

China's economy grew 7.9% in the second quarter and 6.1% in the first quarter, year over year.

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david.pierson@latimes.com

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