* China Aug power consumption +8.3 pct y/y
* Jan-Aug power consumption +4.2 pct y/y
* Thermal power production growth turned positive, rising
7.7 pct y/y
(Adds details on the breakdown, significance on the broader
BEIJING, Sept 14 China's power consumption in
August rose 8.3 percent from a year ago because of increased
cooling demand due to high temperatures, the country's economic
planner said on Wednesday during a briefing.
China's power consumption reached 563.1 billion kilowatt
hours (kwh) in August, said Zhao Chenxin, spokesman for the
National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
Average temperatures in August were the highest since 1961
and were a main factor in the percentage hike in power usage,
said Zhao. He also noted that August 2015 power consumption grew
by only 1.9 percent from the prior period, exaggerating the gain
for this year.
Service industry and residential electricity consumption
recorded the biggest rises as a result of the heat, at 15.5
percent and 19.9 percent respectively, Zhao said.
More specifically, power consumption from information
transmission, IT service, and the software industry rose 15
percent, while financial and property service usage rose 12.3
percent in August.
For shops, hotels and restaurants, power consumption also
enjoyed a 9.3 percent growth.
Power consumption totalled 3.89 trillion kwh in the first
eight months of 2016, up 4.2 percent from the same period last
A surge in power consumption supports the view that
better-than-expected manufacturing and construction activities
gave the economy a boost in August, as the result of a
government infrastructure spending spree and housing boom.
Secondary industry power consumption grew 2 percent in the
January to August period, reversing a negative growth rate from
the same period last year, the NDRC said.
China's manufacturing sector unexpectedly expanded in
August, with the official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI)
rising to 50.4, the fastest pace in nearly two
Monthly imports in August also unexpectedly rose for the
first time in nearly two years and industrial output increased
at the fastest rate in fives years.
The rapid rise in August power consumption reversed the
recent negative growth in thermal power production, with power
generated from coal and natural gas rising 7.7 percent from a
year ago in August, the NRDC's Zhao said.
Hydropower output climbed 5.8 percent while nuclear power
production increased 20.1 percent during August.
The NDRC also approved 25 fixed-asset investment projects in
August with a total value of 196.6 billion yuan ($29.48
billion), which are mainly transportation, water conservancy and
energy projects, Zhao said.
($1 = 6.6700 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Yawen Chen and Kevin Yao; Editing by Christian