China’s March industrial production grows 19.4%

China’s March industrial production grows 19.4%
Published: 09 April 2004

China’s industrial production growth accelerated in March, suggesting the government may need further measures to cool Asia’s second-largest economy.  Factory production grew 19.4 percent to 426.5 billion yuan ($51.5 billion) after rising 17 percent in the first two months of the year, Beijing-based Mainland Marketing Research Co. (China), which releases data on behalf of the National Bureau of Statistics, said in a faxed statement.

China’s government is trying to slow investment in steel, cement, aluminum and other industries because of concern that capacity may outstrip demand, causing prices to fall and driving up bad loans at the nation’s banks. The central bank raised some interest rates for loans to banks two weeks ago and said further measures may be needed to slow credit growth.  China’s attempts to curb investment in industries such as steel and cement are being thwarted by local governments spending on unnecessary and wasteful projects, the country’s top planning agency said last month.