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Official Warns Chinese Industrial Economy Faces 'Grim Situation'

Chinese industry faced a grim situation, as the global financial crisis would have a deep impact on the industrial and information technology sectors, a senior official warned on Wednesday.

Zhu Hongren, an official with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said the country needed to increase investment in key areas and weak points of the industrial economy. The government should maintain a reasonable investment scale and step up technical innovation.

He said the imbalance between weakening demand and expanding capacity would become more problematic as the crisis spread. Labor-intensive and export-oriented businesses would be hurt as prices of energy and raw materials would continue fluctuating.

Among others, the electricity, textile and non-ferrous metal industries had already sustained heavy losses, with 18.3 percent of large industrial companies losing money during the first eight months of the year.

Industrial output growth fell to 11.4 percent in September, the lowest since April 2002. Power generation and oil production grew a mere 3.4 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively, while steel output fell 9.1 percent year-on-year.

In the first three quarters, the value of industrial exports rose 15.7 percent, which was 6.1 percentage points less than a year earlier.

(Xinhua News Agency November 6, 2008)

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