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China's electricity use picks up slightly

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BEIJING, June 14 (Xinhua) -- China's power consumption mildly accelerated in May, a reflection of the faster-than-expected industrial activities. But the annual figure will remain tepid as the economy is set to slow.

Electricity use rose 5.2 percent year-on-year in May to 406.1 billion kilowatt-hours, faster than April's 3.7 percent, the National Energy Administration (NEA) said Thursday.

The data echoed the industrial value-added output which grew 9.6 percent in May after adjusting for inflation, 0.3 percentage point higher than the figure in April.

In the first five months, gross power consumption increased 5.8 percent from the same period a year ago to 1.96 trillion kwh. The primary industry consumed 35.9 billion kwh, down 3.5 percent, the second industry used 1.44 trillion kwh, up 3.8 percent, and tertiary industry used 222.3 billion kwh, up 12.4 percent.

Electricity used by residents hit 261 billion kwh in the five months, up 14.2 percent year-on-year.

Despite a mild monthly increase, China is unlikely to face a severe power strain this summer, and the whole year figure will remain relatively flat, as growth in the world's second economy is widely predicted to dip below 8 percent in the second quarter.

The NEA said in a statement Wednesday that China will face a smaller electricity shortage this summer compared with previous years, due to dwindling demand and a lower expansion in energy-intensive industries with the slowing of the country's economic growth.

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