Shanghai Economy Posts Faster Growth on Services Expansion

Shanghai’s economy expanded 7.7 percent in the first half of the year as growth in its service industries enabled China’s commercial hub to outpace the national average.

The city’s gross domestic product growth quickened from 7.2 percent in last year’s comparable period and exceeded the country’s 7.6 percent rate in the first six months of 2013. The city’s service sector, which includes property, finance, telecommunications and tourism, grew 9.6 percent in the January-to-June period, accounting for 61.7 percent of GDP, Shanghai’s statistics bureau said in a statement on its website yesterday.

The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.5 percent today after a private report showed China’s manufacturing weakened by more than estimated. Premier Li Keqiang is trying to rely more on domestic demand for growth and less on exports and investment.

“Shanghai’s GDP was boosted by the services industry,” said Shen Jianguang, the chief Asia economist for Mizuho Securities Asia Ltd. in Hong Kong. “Local governments generally have higher GDP. They want to show they are doing work.”

Shanghai has made it a priority for the second half to accelerate the building of a trial free trade zone, the Shanghai Daily reported July 14, citing Mayor Yang Xiong. One part of the plan for the zone may include ending a 13-year-ban on the manufacturing and sale of video-game consoles in China, on the condition that companies such as Sony Corp. and Nintendo Co. make their products in the new Shanghai area, according to the South China Morning Post.

— With assistance by Allen Wan, and Weiyi Lim

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