China’s logistics industry slows in first half

China’s logistics industry saw tempered growth in the first half this year amid the slowest economic growth experienced by the country since 2009, a logistics association said Saturday.

The China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) said in a statement posted on its website that the total value of the sector for the first six months grew by 10 percent year on year to 83.6 trillion yuan (13.25 trillion U.S. dollars).

The growth rate was down 3.7 percentage points from the same period last year and down 0.9 percentage points from the first quarter this year, the federation said.

Total expenses rose 11.9 percent year on year to 4.1 trillion yuan, down 6.4 percentage points from a year earlier, the CFLP said.

“Growth in logistics expenses dropped to some extent, but remained relatively high,” the statement said.

The expenses represented 18 percent of China’s GDP during the same period, much higher than the ratio in most developed economies.

The federation expects the sector’s value to grow by 11 percent for the whole year, as the number of favorable factors will increase in the second half due to macroeconomic regulatory policies.

China’s economy expanded 7.6 percent year on year in the second quarter of 2012, slowing from 8.1 percent in the first quarter, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

The growth rate marked the sixth consecutive quarter of decline and marked the slowest rate since the first quarter of 2009.

China pared its GDP growth target for 2012 to 7.5 percent from 8 percent in March in the face of a persistent slump in the United States and spreading debt woes in the European Union.

To buoy the economy, China has adopted a string of pro-growth measures, including lowering the reserve ratio for banks to boost lending, subsidizing energy-saving household electrical appliances and speeding up approval for major construction projects.

In its latest move, the central bank recently cut the benchmark interest rate for the second time in a month to inject liquidity into the market.

Xinhua