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China's Township Enterprises' Added Value Up 8.4% in Q1

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The added value of China's township enterprises reached an estimated 1.78 trillion yuan (US$260.4 billion) in the first quarter of 2009, up 8.36 percent year-on-year, the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) said on Thursday.

However, the growth rate was down from 10.27 percent a year earlier as a result of the global and domestic slowdown, the MOA said.

According to the ministry's preliminary statistics, 150,000 township enterprises and 140,000 self-employed firms in rural areas closed last year, and 3.2 million employees, or 2.2 percent of the total workforce in these firms, lost their jobs.

Aggregate income of township enterprise workers came to 382.9 billion yuan in the first quarter, up 7.73 percent, the lowest first-quarter growth rate in three years.

(Xinhua News Agency March 27, 2009)