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Beijing's GDP to Hit New High Despite Cut in Energy Consumption

Beijing's gross domestic product (GDP) was expected to grow 12.5 percent year-on-year to reach 900 billion yuan (US$124 billion) last year, indicating a double-digit economic growth for nine years in a row, a local development official has said.

The fast growth was achieved with energy consumption and pollutants emission reduced last year, said Zhang Gong, director of the Beijing Municipal Development and Reform Commission.

The per capital GDP was predicted to reach an all-time high of US$7,000 in 2007.

"Beijing's economic and social development demonstrated a good momentum of sound and rapid growth in 2007, a critical year for Beijing when it has been busy preparing for the Olympic Games," Zhang said.

The fixed asset investment rose 17 percent to reach 395 billion yuan (US$54 billion) in 2007, and retail sales surged 15 percent to reach 377 billion yuan (US$52 billion), he said.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI), a measure of inflation, rose to 2.4 percent in Beijing last year, he said.

"While achieving a fast and steady economic development, Beijing further reduced its energy consumption and pollutants emission last year," Zhang said.

In 2006, the Chinese central government decided to cut energy consumption for every 10,000 yuan (US$1,377) of GDP by 20 percent and pollutants by 10 percent for the 2006-2010 period.

Statistics show that Beijing had cut energy consumption for every 10,000 yuan of GDP by more than five percent in the past two years.

In 2007, the per capita disposable income grew by 10 percent for urban residents to 22,000 yuan (US$3,030), and eight percent for rural residents to 9,500 yuan (US$1,308).

(Xinhua News Agency January 15, 2008)

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