NBS Releases Analysis of Conflicting Energy Use and GDP Growth Figures

By Tang Xiangyang
Published: 2009-08-06

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released a report on Monday that attempted to explain why economic growth went up but energy use declined in the first half of the year.

The report, which was issued by the energy statistics division of the NBS, attributed the at-first-glance contradictory statistics that emerged during the first half to three main factors: a change in the economic structure, the effect of energy saving and an ongoing trend toward a changing relationship between GDP and energy use figures.

In the first quarter, China registered year-on-year GDP growth of 6.1%, with growth in large-scale industrial value-added reaching 5.1%. However at the same time energy consumption dropped by 4.02%.

Similar numbers emerged when economic indicators for the first half were released, despite GDP growth reaching 7.1%, and industrial value-added expanding by 7%, energy consumption was down 2.24%.

According to the report, growth in energy-intensive sectors such as chemical material processing slowed leading to a large drop in energy use. Aside from this, as energy conservation policies have begun to take effect, more energy-saving or efficient appliances are bought to replace energy-intensive ones, thus reducing the electricity consumption.

Finally, the report also noted that over the past year there had been a trend for economic growth rates and growth in the use of energy to diverge.

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