SHANGHAI, Oct 24 (Reuters) - The economy of China’s northeastern rustbelt province of Liaoning showed signs of recovery in the first three quarters of this year, growing 3 percent compared with the same period of 2016, the official China Daily reported, citing local officials.
Growth in the province improved from 2.1 percent in the first half of the year, but it still lagged the country as a whole. China’s gross domestic product rose 6.9 percent year-on-year from January to September.
“Liaoning’s economic downward pressure fundamentally stemmed from a damaged political ecosystem,” the paper quoted provincial party secretary Li Xi as saying, blaming his now imprisoned predecessor Wang Min for allowing bribery to become widespread.
China’s northeastern provinces, dominated by giant state enterprises and heavy industries, have struggled to keep up with rapidly growing high-tech manufacturing regions on the east coast.
The region’s workforce is also declining in numbers and also ageing rapidly, and a 14-year government “rejuvenation” programme involving billions of yuan in infrastructure investment has failed to arrest the decline.
Liaoning was also mired in a data falsification scandal involving years of inflated fixed asset investment data, which skewed previous growth figures. It reported a 2.5 percent decline in gross domestic product last year, the only Chinese province to report negative growth. (Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Sam Holmes)