SHANGHAI Oct 18 China's power output in
September rose 1 .5 percent from a year ago, with the pace of
growth cooling to the lowest in three months as a slowing
economy dampened electricity demand from industrial users.
Power production in September was 390.7 billion
kilowatt-hours (kWh), down 10 percent from August and the lowest
since May, data from the statistics bureau showed on Thursday.
Annual growth in power output has slowed markedly from the
double-digit rates posted most of last year, as demand from core
industrial users in the steel, cement and smelting sectors
weakened on the back of China's economic slowdown.
China's GDP grew 7.4 percent in the third quarter from a
year earlier -- in line with forecasts from economists polled by
Reuters -- the first miss of the official target since 6.5
percent growth in the first quarter of 2009.
In further evidence of slack industrial demand, power
consumption rose just 2.9 percent from a year earlier in
September, slowing further from the previous month to the lowest
in eight months.
Tepid demand from energy-intensive industries has caused
domestic coal prices to drop around 20 percent since January.
(Reporting by Fayen Wong; Editing by Ed Davies)