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China’s 2008 GDP Up 9.6%, Unit GDP Energy Consumption Down 5.2%

Xinhua. China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has revised key economic figures for 2008 following its second national economic census, including gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate, energy use growth rate, and rate of reduction in energy use per unit of GDP.

The country’s 2008 GDP growth rate has been revised upward from 9.0 to 9.6%, raising GDP for that year from the previous estimate of 30.067 trillion yuan (US$4.4 trillion) to 31.4045 trillion yuan (US$4.6 trillion). NBS estimated that China is on track to achieve 8% GDP growth rate in 2009.

China’s reduction in energy consumption per unit of GDP has also been revised upward, to 5.2% from the previous estimate of 4.59%.

National energy consumption totaled 2.91 billion tonnes of standard coal equivalent, including 80.3 billion cubic meters of natural gas, 195 million tonnes of natural crude oil, and 2.8 billion tonnes of raw coal. According to NBS, this represents a increase in primary energy use of 2.12% over the previous year.

Last month, China’s State Council pledged to reduce (link 3) the carbon intensity of its economy by 40 to 45% by the year 2020, as compared with 2005 energy intensity. Critics have argued that much of that reduction is already built in to the modernization of the Chinese economy.

China’s national economic census will be conducted every five years to inform social and economic development strategies for each Five Year Plan. The 12th Five Year Plan will run from 2011 to 2015.

—Jack Rosebro


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There is an error in these numbers. Chinas consumption of crude oil was about 400 million tons in 2008 (7.8 million barrels per day) and their production is about 200 million tons or 3.9 mbd.



It shows me that you can have an expanding economy while using less energy (per dollar of GDP). For a long time we in the U.S. were told that conserving energy would damage the economy, which was not true, but some people seemed to believe it anyway.


sjc remember the us creates alot more per unit of energy then china does. Its one of thier biggest weaknesses.


The U.S. still has a way to go on efficiency. Using energy more efficiently goes to the bottom line, if that is all someone cares about. This provides more retained earnings for growth and less going to the fossil fuel energy sector. It is stock and flow with an economy and where the money flows is a big factor.


The problem is alot of the big energy comsumers are on the way out in the us and so wont bother to rebuild a plant to update it to new tech. In fact they cant in many cases.


Rocky Mountain Institute ( has shown many businesses how to use energy more wisely. It is less expensive to conserve than to expand supply.

This is not steel plants, but office buildings that have inefficient lighting, heating and cooling systems. There will always be a need to use energy more efficiently.


Even in office buildings remember the us needs LESS office space and has needed less for a few years now so many buildings are in end of life mode right now and arnt even properly maintained much less upgraded. Only the lowest of the low hanging fruit will work there as the building simply isnt worth it anymore.



By moving high energy consumming production to China and keeping Wall Street deals home, USA has managed to have a GDP to Energy unit ratio better than China. It will most probably be even worst next year.

The same applies to GHG.

It is doubtfull if many are really fooled by this changing economy.


No even china admitted they are realy realy bad on that score.

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