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China: Fast Economic Growth Slows

July 15, 1999

BEIJING (AP) _ China’s economy grew by 7.6 percent in the first half of 1999, a state newspaper said today.

The report in the China Economic Times said growth slowed substantially in the April-June period from the 8.3 percent rate reported for the first quarter, and said ``the situation is serious.″

It said fixed asset investment, exports, consumption and prices all were lower.

Beijing is spending heavily on highway building and other public works, trying to stimulate demand that is so weak that consumer prices have fallen steadily for the past 18 months.

The government was scheduled to release official economic growth figures and other statistics on Friday.

China reported economic growth of 7.8 percent last year, and set a target of 7 percent this year.

The China Economic Times said industrial production in the first half of the year was up 9.4 percent.

It cited figures given by Liu Hong, director of the State Statistical Bureau, in a presentation to Chinese legislators Wednesday in Beijing.

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