BEIJING, July 20 -- China's industrial value-added output may exceed the 11-percent growth target set for the whole year in 2010, although the pace of increase may slow in the second half, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said Tuesday.
The country's industrial value-added output growth has dropped in month-on-month terms since the start of the year. It grew 13.7 percent in June year on year, down from a 16.5-percent increase in May.
Ministry spokesman Zhu Hongren said at a press conference that the slower growth in industrial value-added output in the first half was partly due to last year's high comparison base and the country's efforts to eliminate outdated capacity.
A slower growth rate in terms of industrial production reflects the country's push to accelerate industrial restructuring and change the growth model, he said.
He also ruled out the possibility of a double-dip recession in the second half although "some challenges and uncertainties still remained," including higher labor costs and a fragile export recovery.
The government would limit new high-energy consuming and high-polluting projects and push for consolidation in sectors suffering from overcapacity over the rest of year, he said.
The steel industry is one of those sectors with excessive capacity. The number of steel makers would be reduced to 200 from 800 through mergers and acquisitions, said Chen Yanhai, director of the raw material department of the ministry, without providing a deadline for the consolidation.
The ministry said last week that those steel mills which produced less than one million tons in 2009 would be shut down and makers that produce less than 300,000 tons of top-end steel products per year should withdraw from the market.
The country would continue to encourage the development of emerging industries such as the pharmaceutical industry and information technology, and enhance Chinese companies' innovation capacity, spokesman Zhu Hongren said.