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China's industrial production growth to be moderate: official

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BEIJING, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- The growth rate of China's industrial value-added output in 2012 is likely to slide by 1 to 2 percentage points due to growing global uncertainties, a government official said Thursday.

"The industrial production growth rate will moderate, but the sector will still run at a steady and relatively fast pace," Huang Libin, an inspection and coordination official with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said at a press conference.

Industrial value-added output measures the final output value of industrial production, or the value of gross industrial output minus intermediate input, such as raw materials and labor costs.

Huang predicted that China's full-year industrial value-added output will rise by 14 percent year-on-year this year. In the first 10 months of the year, the growth rate stood at 14.1 percent.

China's industrial value-added output expanded 15.7 percent in 2010.

Huang said cooling external demands due to economic turmoil in Europe and the United States, combined with weakening domestic demand brought about by a tightened monetary policy, are the main forces behind the decrease.

The forecast comes one day after the release of a preliminary survey by the banking giant HSBC that said China's Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index, a gauge of nationwide manufacturing activity, hit a 32-month low of 48 in November.

A reading above 50 indicates the sector is expanding, while a reading below 50 suggests a contraction. However, signs of a slowdown have already been exhibited through several key indicators.

Official data showed that China's exports in October weakened by 7.2 percent month-on-month to 157.49 billion U.S. dollars, while imports dropped 9.5 percent month-on-month to 140.46 billion U.S. dollars.

With worldwide economic recovery out of reach in the short term, Huang said he expects export growth to further shrink next year.

Domestically, Huang said China faces a variety of challenges, including dwindling growth momentum, persistent inflationary pressure and declining business profits. He added that China will experience an even greater negative impact on its economy in the coming year due to complicated external and internal environments.

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