Shenzhen’s economy maintained strong growth momentum in the first half of this year, with its gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate topping Guangdong Province.

The city achieved GDP growth of 8.5 percent for the first six months of this year, compared with the same period last year, and was the fastest-growing economy among 21 major cities in the province, according to official data released recently by statistics bureaus of the cities.

It was followed by Shantou, whose economy grew 8.2 percent. Shanwei was at the bottom of the list with 5-percent growth. The average provincial GDP growth rate stood at 7.4 percent.

Although Guangzhou, Guangdong’s capital city, only achieved 8-percent growth from January to June this year, it surpassed Shenzhen in GDP amount by 23.5 billion yuan (US$3.7 billion) and remained atop the province. Both cities’ GDP exceeded 860 billion yuan.

Shenzhen’s agriculture sector shrank drastically in the first six months of this year, dropping 18.9 percent and contributing only 281 million yuan to the city’s GDP. In Guangzhou, agriculture is a larger part of the economy, yielding more than 10 billion yuan, but the sector still decreased 1.3 percent compared with the same period last year.

Industry, a strong engine for Shenzhen’s economic development, kept its edge by achieving 335.2 billion yuan of output value. The figure was 62.8 billion yuan more than Guangzhou.

Shenzhen lagged behind in tertiary industry, which increased 8.9 percent to hit 601.9 billion yuan in Guangzhou, 76.6 billion yuan more than Shenzhen.

Shenzhen beat Guangzhou in foreign trade volume, which reached 1.1877 trillion yuan during the first half of this year, triple that of Guangzhou.

In fixed-asset investment, Guangzhou stayed ahead of Shenzhen by 61.8 billion yuan from January to June, but Shenzhen’s fixed-asset investment growth rate nearly doubled that of Guangzhou, due to its soaring home prices and fast growth of property investment.

Provincially, Foshan’s GDP ranked third and Dongguan fourth, whose GDP exceeded 300 billion yuan, respectively.

Economic development in cities in eastern, western and northern parts of Guangdong has picked up pace, according to Xiang Xiaomei with Guangdong Academy of Social Sciences.

Shenzhen is fourth on the Chinese mainland in terms of economic power and is one of the country’s top cities for economic returns. Surpassing Hong Kong for the first time, Shenzhen placed first on the list of 2014 Chinese cities’ comprehensive economic competitiveness, according to the local government’s official website.

(Source: Shenzhen Daily)