BEIJING: China’s industrial output surged 18.5% in January and February as compared to last year. This has been led by strong growth in steel and cement , despite the government’s efforts to cool off an economic boom.
The growth rate reported by the National Bureau of Statistics compares with a 16.6% gain for 2006. Steel production soared by 25.4% in January-February, while cement output expanded by 23.8%.
Beijing has tried to rein in growth in steel production to curb overcapacity and pollution. Authorities have repealed export rebates for steel and imposed curbs on construction of new steel mills.
The surge in cement output was driven by a construction boom despite official controls meant to prevent runaway development.
According to the statistics bureau, output of manufactured equipment rose by 24.2%, while auto production increased by 21.5%.