China's capital city Beijing reported a year-on-year decline in growth rate of gross domestic product (GDP) of 6.8 percentage points in May, according to the city's bureau of statistics Wednesday.
The GDP growth in May was 1.96 billion yuan (US$237 million) below the target figure, the statistics bureau said.
GDP growth rate for the first five months dropped by 1.8 percentage points, the source said.
The growth rate of the service sector in the city dropped by 10.4 percentage points in May and was 1.74 billion yuan (US$205.56 million) below target due to the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
The postal service, and transportation, restaurant, retail, tourism and entertainment industries suffered most during the epidemic outbreak, contributing to one-fourth of the city's GDP growth, the bureau of statistics said.
The statistics also showed that the city's retail sales of consumer goods totaled 12.4 billion yuan (US$1.5 billion) in May, the lowest since March 2001, and a year-on-year decline of 9.6 percent.
(Xinhua News Agency June 12, 2003)