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China's GDP Growth Reaches 8 Percent in 2002

China's economic growth in 2002 is expected to reach 8 percent, Director of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Zhu Zhixin said on Monday.

Zhu told reporters in Beijing that this year's gross domestic product (GDP) hit 10.2 trillion yuan (about 1.23 trillion US dollars), setting a new record.

During the past year, China achieved rapid progress in agricultural structural readjustment, industrial production, investment, consumption, foreign trade and people's incomes, said Zhu.

Statistics show that China's farming industry maintained stable growth in 2002, with grain production totaling 457.1 million tons,up one percent over the previous year. Agricultural structure was further optimized, with the specialized farming and ecology-friendly farming modes promoted.

Zhu said the year 2002 will see the fastest industrial growth of recent years, in which the total added value of the industrial sector will top three trillion yuan (about 362.4 billion US dollars), an increase of 12 percent over last year.

Profits earned by industrial enterprises will continue to climbthis year, following three successive years of growth, said Zhu, noting that total industrial profits are expected to reach 550 billion yuan this year, an increase of 20 percent. Additionally, state-owned and state-controlled industrial firms will score record annual profits of over 250 billion yuan this year.

Both the country's total capital investment and retail sales for 2002 will top four trillion yuan.

According to the NBS, houses and cars have become the nation's hot consumer items. In the first eleven months of 2002, sales of homes soared 37.1 percent, and homes sold to private individuals accounted for 90 percent of the total. Sales of automobiles grew 70.6 percent year-on-year.

China's total foreign trade volume for 2002 will top 600 billion US dollars, said Zhu, adding that actual foreign direct investment (FDI) will exceed 50 billion US dollars this year.

NBS figures indicate that the disposable income of urban residents in 2002 will exceed 7,500 yuan (about 906 US dollars) per capita, up 10 percent compared to last year, and the net income of farmers will reach 2,470 yuan per capita, up 4 percent.

The savings deposits of the Chinese people also increased in 2002. By the end of November, total savings deposits had reached 8.57 trillion yuan, 1.2 trillion yuan more than that by the end of last year.

Zhu predicted that in 2003, the Chinese economy will be faced with more opportunities than challenges, and the national economy will see continued growth based on this year's progress.

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