BEIJING, July 16 (Xinhua) -- China's electricity use, a key indicator of industrial activity, is expected to grow 7 percent this year to reach 5.1 trillion kilowatt-hours (kwh) as the country's pro-growth policies gradually take effect, an official forecast on Monday.
Yu Yanshan, deputy director of the general office of State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC), said China's power use will gradually stabilize despite slowing consumption in the first half of the year.
"During the January-May period, growth of power use in the eastern regions saw narrower declines, which means the economic downward pressure is easing," he said.
According to the SERC, China's power consumption rose 5.5 percent year on year to 2.37 trillion kwh in the first half of 2012, slowing 6.7 percentage points from the growth rate during the same period a year earlier.
The deceleration came as China's GDP growth slowed to a three-year low of 7.6 percent in the second quarter, weighed down by lackluster external demand and government efforts to cool the property sector.