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China’s power use rebounds as economy stabilizes

Updated: Dec 16,2015 10:27 PM     Xinhua

China’s power use, a key barometer of economic activity, ended a two-month falling streak in November by edging up 0.6 percent from one year earlier as the economy showed signs of stabilization, according to data released on Dec 16.

Electricity consumption totaled 465.8 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) last month, the National Energy Administration (NEA) said in a statement on its website.

In the first 11 months, power use rose 0.7 percent year-on-year to 5.05 trillion kWh.

Electricity use in the service sector rose 7.3 percent during the period and the agricultural sector posted a 3.0-percent increase, while use by the industrial sector dropped 1.1 percent from a year earlier, the NEA said.

The different rates reflect changes in China’s economic structure. The service sector, which has outperformed the industrial sector in terms of its share of GDP, continued to boom while the industrial sector struggled with overcapacity.

China’s economy grew 6.9 percent in the first three quarters, the weakest pace since the global financial crisis. To bolster growth, the country’s central bank has cut the benchmark interest rates six times since November 2014 and lowered the reserve requirement ratio for banks several times.

Other macro indicators for November, including industrial output, retail sales and fixed asset investment, suggested stabilization in the economy.