National Economic Performance Maintained within an Appropriate Range in 2018 with Main Development Goals Achieved
National Bureau of Statistics of China2019-01-21 10:00




National Bureau of Statistics of China

21 January 2019

 

In 2018, under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, all regions and departments implemented the decisions and arrangements made by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, adhered to the general working guideline of making progress while maintaining stability, committed to the new development philosophy, promoted high quality development, focused on the supply-side structural reform, stayed united and overcame difficulties. As a result, main goals for economic and social development were achieved, the “three critical battles” of preventing and defusing financial risks, conducting targeted poverty alleviation and controlling pollution got off to a good start, the supply-side structural reform was advanced, reform and opening up was deepened, and people’s livelihood continued to improve. The national economy performed within an appropriate range, sustained the momentum of progress in overall stability, and strived towards building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

 

According to the preliminary estimation, the gross domestic product (GDP) of China was 90,030.9 billion yuan in 2018, an increase of 6.6 percent at comparable prices over the previous year, achieving the set target of around 6.5 percent growth for the year. Specifically, the year-on-year growth of GDP was 6.8 percent for the first quarter, 6.7 percent for the second quarter, 6.5 percent for the third quarter, and 6.4 percent for the fourth quarter. The value added of the primary industry was 6,473.4 billion yuan, up by 3.5 percent over the previous year; that of the secondary industry was 36,600.1 billion yuan, up by 5.8 percent; and that of the tertiary industry was 46,957.5 billion yuan, up by 7.6 percent.

 

1. Grain Output Maintained High Yields and Production of Animal Husbandry Grew Stably.

 

The total grain output in 2018 was 657.89 million tons, down by 0.6 percent over that of last year, still a harvest year on record, maintaining above 650.00 million tons for four consecutive years. The total output of summer grain was 138.78 million tons; early rice, 28.59 million tons; autumn grain, 490.52 million tons. The total output of cotton was 6.10 million tons, up by 7.8 percent over that of last year. The planting structure was further optimized. The sown area of quality rice further increased and the sown area of corn continued to reduce. The cultivated area of soybean increased and that of cotton, sugar crop and Chinese herbal medicine plants increased.

 

In 2018, the total output of pork, beef, mutton and poultry was 85.17 million tons, slightly down by 0.3 percent over that of last year. Specifically, the total output of pork was 54.04 million tons, down by 0.9 percent; beef 6.44 million tons, up by 1.5 percent; mutton 4.75 million tons, up by 0.8 percent; poultry 19.94 million tons, up by 0.6 percent. There were 428.17 million pigs registered, a year-on-year decrease of 3.0 percent and 693.82 million pigs slaughtered, a decrease of 1.2 percent.

 

2. Industrial Production Developed Steadily with Fairly Fast Growth of New Industries.

 

The real growth of the total value added of the industrial enterprises above the designated size in 2018 was 6.2 percent, with slow yet stable growth. An analysis by types of ownership showed that the value added of the state holding enterprises was up by 6.2 percent; that of the collective enterprises, down by 1.2 percent; share-holding enterprises, up by 6.6 percent; and enterprises funded by foreign investors or investors from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, up by 4.8 percent. In terms of sectors, the value added of the mining grew by 2.3 percent, the manufacturing increased by 6.5 percent and the production and supply of electricity, thermal power, gas and water increased by 9.9 percent. The value added of the high-tech manufacturing, the strategic emerging industry and equipment manufacturing increased by 11.7 percent, 8.9 percent and 8.1 percent year on year respectively, 5.5 percentage points, 2.7 percentage points and 1.9 percentage points faster than that of the industrial enterprises above the designated size. The output of new emerging industrial products registered fast growth , the growth of passenger trains, microwave terminals, new energy automobiles, biologically-based chemical fibers, smart TV sets, lithium-ion batteries and integrated circuits  grew by 183.0 percent, 104.5 percent, 40.1 percent, 23.5 percent, 18.7 percent, 12.9 percent and  9.7 percent respectively. In December, the total value added of the industrial enterprises above the designated size was up by 5.7 percent year-on-year, 0.3 percentage point higher than that of last month, or up by 0.54 percent month-on-month.

 

From January to November, the profits made by industrial enterprises above the designated size stood at 6,116.9 billion yuan, up by 11.8 percent year-on-year. The profit rate of the principal activities of the industrial enterprises above the designated size was 6.48 percent, 0.16 percentage point higher than that of the same period last year.

 

3. The Service Sector Sustained Fast Growth and Maintained within the Range of Expansion.

 

In 2018, the Index of Services Production increased by 7.7 percent over that of last year, maintained comparatively rapid growth. Specifically, information transmission, software and information technology services and rental and business services grew by 37.0 percent and 10.1 percent. In December, the Index of Services Production was up by 7.3 percent year-on-year, 0.1 percentage point higher than that of last month. From January to November, the business revenue of service enterprises above the designated size increased by 11.5 percent year-on-year. Specifically, the business revenue of strategic emerging services, science and technology services and high-tech services increased by 14.9 percent, 15.0 percent and 13.4 percent year on year respectively. The operating profits of service enterprises above the designated size increased by 5.7 percent.

 

In December, the Business Activity Index for services was 52.3 percent within the range of expectation. Specifically, the Business Activity Index for sectors like railway transportation, telecommunication, broadcast, television and satellite transmission services, monetary financial services, insurance and other financial services stayed within the expansion range of 60.0 percent and above. From the perspective of market expectation, the Business Activities Expectation Index for services was 60.2 percent, 0.6 percentage point higher than that of last month.

 

4. Market Sales Witnessed Steady and Fast Growth and the Share of Online Retail Sales Increased Significantly.

 

In 2018, the total retail sales of consumer goods reached 38,098.7 billion yuan, up by 9.0 percent over last year which kept fast growth. Specifically, the retail sales of consumer goods by enterprises above the designated size stood at 14,531.1 billion yuan, up by 5.7 percent. Analyzed by different areas, the retail sales in urban areas reached 32,563.7 billion yuan, up by 8.8 percent, and the retail sales in rural areas stood at 5,535.0 billion yuan, up by 10.1 percent. Grouped by consumption patterns, the income of catering industry was 4,271.6 billion yuan, up by 9.5 percent; and the retail sales of goods reached 33,827.1 billion yuan, up by 8.9 percent. The sales of upgraded consumer goods witnessed fast growth. Specifically, the growth of sales of cosmetics, household appliances and audio-video equipment, and telecommunication equipment by enterprises above the designated size were 3.9 percentage points, 3.2 percentage points and 1.4 percentage points higher than the growth of retail sales of consumer goods by enterprises above the designated size respectively. In December, the growth of total retail sales of consumer goods was 8.2 percent year-on-year, or 0.55 percent month-on-month.

 

In 2018, the online retail sales reached 9,006.5 billion yuan, an increase of 23.9 percent compared with that of last year. Specifically, the retail sales of physical goods were 7,019.8 billion yuan, up by 25.4 percent, accounting for 18.4 percent of the total retail sales of consumer goods, or 3.4 percentage points higher than that of last year. The online retail sales of non-physical goods were 1,986.7 billion yuan, up by 18.7 percent.

 

5. The Investment Registered Slow but Stable Growth and the Growth of Investment in Manufacturing and Private Investment Accelerated.

 

In 2018, the investment in fixed assets (excluding rural households) was 63,563.6 billion yuan, growing by 5.9 percent over last year, and 0.5 percentage point higher than that of the first three quarters. Specifically, private investment reached 39,405.1 billion yuan, up by 8.7 percent, 2.7 percentage points higher than that of last year. The investment in the primary industry grew by 12.9 percent, 1.1 percentage points higher than that of last year; the secondary industry grew by 6.2 percent, 3.0 percentage points higher, among which the investment in manufacturing grew by 9.5 percent, 4.7 percentage points higher; and the tertiary industry grew by 5.5 percent, among which the investment in infrastructure grew by 3.8 percent. The investment in the high-tech manufacturing and equipment manufacturing went up by 16.1 percent and 11.1 percent, 6.6 percentage points and 1.6 percentage points higher than that of the investment in manufacturing. In December, the investment in fixed assets grew by 0.42 percent month-on-month. The total investment in real estate development in 2018 was 12,026.4 billion yuan, up by 9.5 percent over that of last year. The floor space of commercial buildings sold was 1,716.54 million square meters, up by 1.3 percent. Specifically, the floor space of residential buildings sold was up by 2.2 percent. The total sales of commercial buildings were 14,997.3 billion yuan, up by 12.2 percent, among which the sales of residential buildings were up by 14.7 percent.

 

6. The Total Value of Imports and Exports Hit a Record High and the Trade Structure Continued to Optimize.

 

The total value of imports and exports in 2018 was 30,505.0 billion yuan, up by 9.7 percent over that of last year, setting a new record by topping 30  trillion yuan for the first time. The total imports and exports achieved the set goal of stable and positive development with increased volume and optimized structure. The total value of exports was 16,417.7 billion yuan, up by 7.1 percent; the total value of imports was 14,087.4 billion yuan, up by 12.9 percent. The trade balance was 2,330.3 billion yuan in surplus, down by 18.3 percent over that of last year. The value of general trade accounted for 57.8 percent of the total value of imports and exports, 1.4 percentage points higher than that of last year. The export of electrical and mechanical products increased by 7.9 percent, accounting for 58.8 percent of the total value of exports, 0.4 percentage point higher than that of last year. The imports and exports with main trade partners grew in all respects. Specifically, the imports and exports with European Union, United States and ASEAN went up by 7.9 percent, 5.7 percent and 11.2 percent respectively. The imports and exports with the countries along the Belt and Road gained momentum, increasing by 13.3 percent, 3.6 percentage points higher than the total imports and exports of goods of the year. The export delivery value of the industrial enterprises above the designated size reached 12,393.2 billion yuan, up by 8.5 percent over that of last year.

 

7. The Consumer Price Rose Mildly and the Growth of Producer Prices for Industrial Goods Declined.

 

In 2018, the consumer price went up by 2.1 percent over last year, stayed within the range of mild growth, lower than the projected annual target of around 3 percent. Specifically, the price went up by 2.1 percent in urban areas and up by 2.1 percent in rural areas. Grouped by commodity categories, prices for food, tobacco and liquor went up by 1.9 percent; clothing up by 1.2 percent; residence up by 2.4 percent; household facilities, articles and services up by 1.6 percent; transportation and communications up by 1.7 percent; education, culture and recreation up by 2.2 percent; health care and medical services up by 4.3 percent; and miscellaneous goods and services up by 1.2 percent. In terms of food, tobacco and liquor prices, prices for grain went up by 0.8 percent, pork down by 8.1 percent and fresh vegetables up by 7.1 percent. Core CPI which excludes the price of food and energy went up by 1.9 percent, 0.3 percentage point lower than that of last year. In December, the consumer price went up by 1.9 percent year-on-year, and remained unchanged month-on-month. In 2018, the producer prices for industrial products went up by 3.5 percent year on year, 2.8 percentage points lower than that of last year; in December, the producer prices for industrial products went up by 0.9 percent year-on-year, or down by 1.0 percent month-on-month. In 2018, the purchasing prices for industrial producers were up by 4.1 percent over that of last year and in December, it was up by 1.6 percent year-on-year or down by 0.9 percent month-on-month.

 

8. The Employment Maintained Stability and the Surveyed Unemployment Rate in Urban Areas Dropped.

 

In 2018, the newly increased employed people in urban areas totaled 13.61 million, an increase of 100 thuosand over that of last year, staying above 13 million for six years in a row, accomplishing 123.7 percent of the annual target. In December, the surveyed unemployment rate in urban areas was 4.9 percent, 0.1 percentage point lower than that of the same month last year. In 2018, the monthly urban surveyed unemployment rate stayed within the range of 4.8 percent to 5.1 percent, hitting the projected target of lowing than 5.5 percent. In December, the urban surveyed unemployment rate in 31 major cities was 4.7 percent, 0.2 percentage point lower than that of the same month last year. Specifically, the surveyed unemployment rate of major labor force aged from 25 to 59 was 4.4 percent, the same as that of last month. At the end of 2018, the total number of employed persons was 775.86 million and the number of urban employed persons was 434.19 million. The number of rural migrant workers reached 288.36 million, 1.84 million more than that of last year, up by 0.6 percent. Specifically, local migrant workers totaled 115.70 million, up by 0.9 percent; outside migrant workers totaled 172.66 million, up by 0.5 percent. The average monthly income of migrant workers was 3,721 yuan, a year-on-year growth of 6.8 percent.

 

9. Resident Income and Consumption Grew Steadily and the Growth of Income and Expenditure of Rural Residents Outpaced that of Urban Residents.

 

In 2018, the nationwide per capita disposable income of residents was 28,228 yuan, a nominal growth of 8.7 percent over that of last year, or a real increase of 6.5 percent after deducting price factors, higher than the growth rate of per capita GDP, and basically kept pace with economic growth. In terms of permanent residence, the per capita disposable income of urban households was 39,251 yuan, a nominal growth of 7.8 percent over that of last year, or a real growth of 5.6 percent after deducting price factors. The per capita disposable income of rural households was 14,617 yuan, a nominal growth of 8.8 percent year on year, or a real growth of 6.6 percent after deducting price factors. The per capita income of urban households was 2.69 times that of the rural households, 0.02 less than last year. The median of the nationwide per capita disposable income was 24,336 yuan, a nominal increase of 8.6 percent. Taking the per capita disposable income of nationwide households by income quintiles, that of the low-income group reached 6,440 yuan, the lower-middle-income group 14,361 yuan, the middle-income group 23,189 yuan, the upper-middle-income group 36,471 yuan, and the high-income group 70,640 yuan.

 

In 2018, the nationwide per capita consumption expenditure of residents was 19,853 yuan, a nominal increase of 8.4 percent, 1.3 percentage points higher than that of last year, or a real increase of 6.2 percent after deducting price factors, 0.8 percentage point higher than that of last year. Specifically, the per capita consumption expenditure of urban households was 26,112 yuan, a nominal growth of 6.8 percent, 0.9 percentage point higher than that of last year; the per capita consumption expenditure of rural households was 12,124 yuan, a nominal growth of 10.7 percent, and 2.6 percentage points higher than that of last year.

 

10. The Supply-Side Structural Reform was Advanced Further and Economy Kept its Momentum of Transformation and Upgrading.

 

The major tasks of cutting overcapacity, reducing inventory, deleveraging, lowering costs and strengthening weak areas were enhanced firmly. As for cutting overcapacity, the annual tasks of cutting overcapacity in the industries of steel and coal were completed ahead of the schedule. The national industrial capacity utilization rate reached 76.5 percent. Specifically, the capacity utilization rates of smelting and pressing of ferrous metals and the mining and washing of coal were 78.0 percent and 70.6 percent respectively, 2.2 percentage points and 2.4 percentage points higher than last year. As for deleveraging, the asset-liability ratio of enterprises declined. At the end of November, the asset-liability ratio of industrial enterprises above the designated size was 56.8 percent, 0.4 percentage point lower than the same period last year, among which that of state holding enterprises was 59.1 percent, 1.6 percentage points lower. In terms of reducing inventory, by the end of 2018, the floor space of commercial buildings for sale was 524.14 million square meters, down by 11.0 percent over that at the end of 2017. In terms of lowering costs, the cost of enterprises continued to drop. For the first eleven months, the cost for per-hundred-yuan turnover of principal activities of the industrial enterprises above the designated size was 84.19 yuan, 0.21 yuan less compared with that of the same period last year. As for strengthening the weak areas, investment in weak areas grew rapidly. In 2018, the investment in ecological protection and treatment of environmental pollution and agriculture went up by 43.0 percent and 15.4 percent respectively, or 37.1 percentage points and 9.5 percentage points higher than that of the total investment.

 

The economic structure continued to optimize. In 2018, the contribution of the value added of the tertiary industry to total GDP was 52.2 percent, 0.3 percentage point higher than that of last year, 11.5 percentage points higher than that of the secondary industry, contributing 59.7 percent to GDP growth, 0.1 percentage point higher than that of last year. Consumption as the major driving force for economic growth was further strengthened with final consumption expenditure contributing 76.2 percent to GDP growth, 18.6 percentage points higher than that of last year, and 43.8 percentage points higher than the gross capital formation. Household consumption was upgraded and improved with quality. The Engel’s Coefficient was 28.4 percent, 0.9 percentage point lower than that of last year. In 2018, service consumption took up 44.2 percent of nationwide per capita consumption expenditure of residents, 1.6 percentage points higher than that of 2017. Green development was promoted steadily. The energy consumption per 10,000 yuan worth of GDP went down by 3.1 percent over last year, achieving the target of dropping by 3 percent. The energy consumption structure continued to optimize. The share of consumption of clean energy such as natural gas, hydropower, nuclear power and wind power in total energy consumption was 1.3 percentage points higher than that of last year.

 

11. Population Increased Steadily with Continuous Growth of Urbanization Rate.

 

By the end of 2018, the total population of mainland China was 1,395.38 million (including the population of 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, and servicemen in CPLA; but not including residents in Hong Kong SAR, Macao SAR and Taiwan Province and overseas Chinese), an increase of 5.30 million over that at the end of 2017. In 2018, the number of births was 15.23 million and the birth rate was 10.94 per thousand; the number of deaths was 9.93 million with a death rate of 7.13 per thousand; the natural growth rate was 3.81 per thousand. In terms of gender, the male population was 713.51 million, and female population was 681.87 million; the sex ratio of the total population was 104.64 (the female is 100). In terms of age composition, population at the working age of 16-59 was 897.29 million, accounting for 64.3 percent of the total population; population aged 60 and over was 249.49 million, which was 17.9 percent of the total population; population aged 65 and over was 166.58 million, accounting for 11.9 percent of the total population. In terms of urban-rural structure, the permanent residents in urban areas was 831.37 million, an increase of 17.90 million over that at the end of last year; and the permanent residents in rural areas was 564.01 million, a decrease of 12.60 million. The proportion of the urban population to the total population (urbanization rate) was 59.58 percent, 1.06 percentage points higher than that at the end of 2017. The population who reside in areas other than their household registration and have been away from there for over 6 months reached 286 million, which was 4.50 million less than that at the end of 2017. Specifically, the floating population stood at 241 million, 3.78 million less than that at the end of 2017.

 

Generally speaking, in 2018 the national economy performed within an appropriate range, maintaining the general stable momentum by pursuing progress while ensuring stability.However, at the same time we should also be aware that there are concerns over the changes amid the stable economic performance, and the external environment is complicated and sever, the economy still faces downward pressure. The problems emerged in the course of development should be addressed specifically. In 2019, taking Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as the guideline, we should seize and make the most of the opportunities in the important strategic period, follow the general working guideline of making progress while maintaining stability, stick to the new development philosophy, promote high-quality development, and focus on the supply-side structural reform. We should make continuous efforts to win the “three critical battles”, endeavor to stimulate market vitality, demand potential and internal dynamism, take coordinated steps to ensure steady economic growth, advance reform, make structural adjustment, improve living standards and guard against risk. The macro policies should enhance the countercyclical adjustment, the structural policies should focus on institutional construction and social policies should guarantee the basic line of living standards. We should also promote the sustainable and healthy development of economy and protect the stability of the society which will lay a sound foundation for the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China!

 

Notes:

 

1. The growth rates of gross domestic product, value added of the industrial enterprises above designated size and its sub-items are real growth by using comparable prices. The growth rates of other indicators are nominal growth by using current prices unless otherwise specified.

 

2. According to the auto-revision function of the seasonal adjustment model, revisions were made to quarter-on-quarter growth of GDP and to month-on-month changes of the value added of industrial enterprises above designated size, the investment in fixed assets (excluding rural households), and the total retail sales of consumer goods. The revised figures, quarter-on-quarter GDP growth estimates for the fourth quarter of 2018 and month-on-month changes of other indicators for December 2018 are as follows:

 

The quarter-on-quarter growth of GDP in 2017 and 2018 were 1.5 percent, 1.8 percent, 1.7 percent, 1.6 percent, 1.5 percent, 1.7 percent, 1.6 percent and 1.5 percent respectively.

 

Month-on-Month Changes in 2018

 

 

Value Added of Industrial Enterprises above Designated Size

(%)

Investment in Fixed  Assets (Excluding Rural Households)

(%)

Total Retail Sales of Consumer Goods

(%)

January

0.57

0.45

0.63

February

0.57

0.45

0.58

March

0.38

0.44

0.98

April

0.63

0.45

0.76

May

0.51

0.44

0.52

June

0.38

0.44

0.72

July

0.44

0.43

0.79

August

0.50

0.43

0.63

September

0.47

0.44

0.53

October

0.47

0.45

0.63

November

0.37

0.43

0.50

December

0.54

0.42

0.55

 

3. Industrial enterprises above the designated size are industrial enterprises with annual revenue from principal business at and over 20 million yuan. As the number of industrial enterprises above the designated size changes every year, to ensure the data comparability between years, the coverage of the data of the same period last year used for estimating year-on-year growth rates like that of products output, are as consistent as possible with the current period and different from the coverage of the data published last year. The main reasons are as follows: First, the statistical units change. Every year, some enterprises are included in the survey as they meet the threshold, while some enterprises are removed from the survey because of downsizing. Besides, enterprises that have newly gone into operation, been bankrupted, cancelled their registrations or had their business licenses revoked also cause impact. Second, duplicated outputs across regions of enterprise groups have been removed based on the ad hoc surveys since duplication was found in the products output of some enterprise groups.

 

4. The Index of Services Production is the change of production in the reporting period compared to the base period with the price factors deducted.

 

5. Enterprises above the designated size in total retail sales of consumer goods include wholesale enterprises, retail enterprises and lodging and catering enterprises with annual revenue from principle business over 20 million yuan, 5 million yuan and 2 million yuan respectively.

 

The data for the total retail sales of consumer goods of the same period last year have been revised according to the results of the third national agricultural census and related regulations and the growth rates are calculated on a comparable basis.

 

Online retail sales refer to the retail sales of goods and services realized through internet trading platforms (including self-built websites and third-party platforms). Goods and services include physical goods and non-physical goods (e.g. virtual goods and services).

 

The total retail sales of consumer goods include the online retail sales of physical goods, but not the non-physical goods. 

 

6. The base figure of investment in fixed assets in 2017 was revised according to the results of statistical law enforcement and inspection and entity inventory of the fourth economic census. The growth rates were calculated on a comparable basis.

 

7. The median of the nationwide per capita disposable income of residents refers to the per capita disposable income of households which lies in the middle of all surveyed households ranked from low to high on the basis of per capital disposable income level.

 

The income of urban and rural households by quintiles refers to the per capita income of surveyed households which are divided into five levels averagely, ranking from low to high based on per capita income level. The top 20 percent households with the highest income are classified as high-income group, and the other four levels are upper-middle-income group, middle-income group, lower-middle-income group and low-income group.

 

8. Migrant workers refer to those who work in urban areas, or in the non-agriculture sectors in local or other areas for 6 months and above with their permanent household registrations being in rural areas. Local migrant workers refer to those who work in the administration area where they register their households permanently. Outside migrant workers refer to those who work in areas other than the administration area where they register their households permanently.

 

9. Floating population refers to the population who live in places other than their household registration excluding those with current residences different from the places of their household registration but still in the same city. Population who live in places other than their household registration but still in the same city refer to those whose current residences are different from the registered towns or streets in the same district or in different districts but still in the same municipality or prefecture-level city.

 

10. Employed persons refer to persons aged 16 and over who have the ability to work and engage in gainful employment for remuneration payment or business income.

 

11. Data of imports and exports are from the General Administration of Customs, PRC; data of newly increased employed people in urban areas are from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, PRC.

 

12. Due to the round-off reasons, the subentries may not add up to the aggregate totals.

 

In case of any differences between English translation and the original Chinese text, the Chinese edition shall prevail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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