Thursday, January 21, 2010

China's GDP Rose 8.7% in 2009 ... maybe they don't need USa anymore for consuming their products.

BEIJING—Fresh steps to rein in China's booming housing market—one of the engines that has put the country on the cusp of becoming the world's second-largest economy—triggered an international selloff in stocks, as investors grew concerned about the Asian giant's continued growth.

The Chinese government reported early Thursday that its economy expanded 8.7% in 2009, surpassing the 8% target Beijing had set early last year, when some economists were warning that growth might reach only 5%. Growth in the fourth quarter of 2009 was up 10.7% from a year earlier, reflecting the recent recovery in global trade and a continued surge in domestic property and infrastructure. Consumer prices in December rose 1.9% from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said, accelerating sharply from the 0.6% rise in November.

That strong growth brings China closer to overtaking Japan as the No. 2 global economy, though numbers from Tokyo won't be out until next month.

As Japan did in earlier decades, China has grown by rapid industrialization, shifting its rural population into cities where people get better jobs and buy homes and consumer goods.

But there's increasing concern China could be headed for some of the same pitfalls Japan encountered leading up to the early 1990s, when its real-estate bubble burst, curtailing growth for years. Wang Shi, the head of China's biggest property developer, China Vanke Co., said last month that his country is at risk of a Japan-style property bubble if rapid price gains spread beyond major cities.

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