Overall National Economy Maintained Stable in the First Two Months
National Bureau of Statistics of China2019-03-14 10:00




National Bureau of Statistics of China

14 March 2019

 

In the first two months, under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, all regions and departments implemented the decisions and arrangements made by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, stuck to the general working guideline of making progress while maintaining stability, adopted the new development philosophy, insisted on promoting high-quality development, focused on the supply-side structural reform, and intensified efforts in policy implementation to maintain stability in areas like employment, financial sector, foreign trade, foreign investment, domestic investment, and market expectation. The economy performed within the reasonable range and maintained the generally stable and growing momentum; a positive trend is gradually unveiled.

 

1. The Service Industry Grew Steadily and Modern Service Industry Developed Fast.

 

In the first two months, the Index of Services Production increased by 7.3 percent year on year, maintaining the same speed as that in last December. Specifically, information transmission, software and information technology services, and leasing and business services grew by 26.5 percent and 7.9 percent year on year respectively, 19.2 percentage points and 0.6 percentage point higher than the growth of the Index of Services Production. Financial services grew by 5.9 percent, 1.5 percentage points higher than that in last December. In February, the Business Activity Index for services was 53.5 percent, which stayed above the 50-point mark separating growth from contraction and continued the good momentum. The Business Activity Index for sectors like railway transport, air transport, telecommunication, broadcast, television and satellite transmission services, monetary financial services, leasing and business services stayed within the expansion range, with the index higher than 55.0 percent. The New Orders Index for services was 50.5 percent, 0.3 percentage point higher than that in the previous month. The Business Activity Expectation Index for services was 60.6 percent, 1.8 percentage points higher than that in the previous month.

 

2. The Overall Industrial Production Was Steady and New Industries and New Products Grew Fast.

 

In the first two months, the total value added of the industrial enterprises above the designated size grew by 5.3 percent year-on-year, 0.4 percentage point slower than last December. After adjusting the influences from the Spring Festival, the total value added of the industrial enterprises above the designated size in the first two months went up by 6.1 percent year on year, and that for February went up by 0.43 percent month on month. An analysis by types of ownership showed that, in the first two months, the value added of the state holding enterprises went up by 4.4 percent year on year; share-holding enterprises up by 6.4 percent; and enterprises funded by foreign investors or investors from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan down by 0.3 percent. In terms of sectors, the value added of the mining increased by 0.3 percent on a year-on-year base, the manufacturing grew by 5.6 percent and the production and supply of electricity, thermal power, gas and water grew by 6.8 percent. The value added of strategic emerging industry grew by 10.1 percent, 4.8 percentage points higher than that of the industrial enterprises above the designated size. The production of new energy vehicles and solar photovoltaic batteries grew by 53.3 percent and 13.5 percent year on year respectively, or 37.8 percentage points and 0.4 percentage point higher than that in last December. The generation of electricity grew by 2.9 percent year on year, and that for February increased by 6.8 percent. In February, the New Orders Index for Manufacturing PMI was 50.6 percent, or 1.0 percentage point higher than that of last month, demonstrating positive market expectations.

 

3. The Growth of Investment Accelerated and the Investment in Tertiary Industry and in High-tech Industries Grew Fast.

 

In the first two months, the investment in fixed assets (excluding by rural households) was 4,484.9 billion yuan, a year-on-year growth of 6.1 percent, or 0.2 percentage point faster than that of 2018. Specifically, the private investment reached 2,696.3 billion yuan, up by 7.5 percent. The investment in the primary industry was up by 3.7 percent year on year; that in the secondary industry grew by 5.5 percent, among which the investment in manufacturing was up by 5.9 percent; and that in the tertiary industry up by 6.5 percent, 1.0 percentage point faster than that of 2018, of which, the investment in infrastructure increased by 4.3 percent. The investment in high technology industries and industrial technological transformation went up by 8.6 percent and 19.5 percent year on year respectively, 2.5 percentage points and 13.4 percentage points faster than that of the total investment. In the first two months, the total investment in real estate development was 1,209.0 billion yuan, a year-on-year growth of 11.6 percent. The floor space of commercial buildings sold reached 141.02 million square meters, down by 3.6 percent. The total sales of commercial buildings were 1,280.3 billion yuan, up by 2.8 percent. In February, the investment in fixed assets (excluding by rural households) went up by 0.43 percent month on month.

 

4. The Growth of Market Sales Maintained Stable and the Consumption of Upgraded Goods Witnessed Fast Growth.

 

In the first two months, the total retail sales of consumer goods reached 6,606.4 billion yuan, a year-on-year growth of 8.2 percent, maintaining the same speed as that in last December. Analyzed by different areas, the retail sales in urban areas reached 5,621.0 billion yuan, up by 8.0 percent year-on-year, and the retail sales in rural areas stood at 985.4 billion yuan, up by 9.1 percent. Grouped by consumption patterns, the income of the catering was 725.1 billion yuan, up by 9.7 percent year on year; and the retail sales of goods were 5,881.3 billion yuan, up by 8.0 percent. The consumption of upgraded goods witnessed fast growth. In the first two months, among the retail sales of consumer goods of businesses above the designated size, sales of books, newspaper and magazines, sales of cosmetics and sales of cultural and office appliances went up by 33.9 percent, 8.9 percent and 8.8 percent year on year respectively, 25.7 percentage points, 0.7 percentage point and 0.6 percentage point higher than that of the total retail sales of consumer goods. In the first two months, the online retail sales reached 1,398.3 billion yuan, up by 13.6 percent year on year. Of the total, the online retail sales of physical goods stood at 1,090.1 billion yuan, up by 19.5 percent, accounting for 16.5 percent of the total retail sales of consumer goods, 1.6 percentage points higher than that of the same period last year. In February, the total retail sales of consumer goods went up by 0.81 percent month on month.

 

5. The Employment Was Generally Stable and the Surveyed Unemployment Rate Was Lower than Expected.

 

In the first two months, the newly increased employed people in urban areas numbered 1.74 million. In February, the surveyed urban unemployment rate was 5.3 percent, lower than the expected rate around 5.5 percent. The urban surveyed unemployment rate in 31 major cities was 5.0 percent. Specifically, the surveyed unemployed rate of the major labor force aged from 25 to 59 was 4.9 percent, 0.4 percentage point lower than the surveyed urban unemployment rate. The employees of enterprises worked averagely 44.9 hours per week.

 

6. The Consumer Price Grew Mildly and the Growth of Producer Prices for Industrial Products Slowed Down.

 

In the first two months, the consumer price went up by 1.6 percent year on year, 0.3 percentage point slower than that in last December. Grouped by commodity categories, prices for food, tobacco and alcohol went up by 1.6 percent year on year; clothing up by 1.8 percent; housing up by 2.1 percent; articles and services for daily use up by 1.4 percent; transport and communication down by 1.2 percent; education, culture and recreation up by 2.6 percent; medical services and health care up by 2.7 percent; other articles and services up by 2.1 percent. Among the prices for food, tobacco and alcohol, the prices for grain went up by 0.5 percent year on year, pork down by 4.1 percent and fresh vegetables up by 2.6 percent. In January and February, the consumer price went up by 1.7 percent and 1.5 percent year on year respectively, and up by 0.5 percent and 1.0 percent month on month.

 

For the first two months, the producer prices for industrial products went up by 0.1 percent year on year, 0.8 percentage point slower than that in last December. The producer prices for industrial products in January and February both grew by 0.1 percent year on year, and went down by 0.6 percent and 0.1 percent month on month. In the first two months, the purchasing prices for industrial producers went up by 0.1 percent year on year, 1.5 percentage points lower that that in last December.

 

7. The Import and Export Continued to Grow and the Structure for Foreign Trade Continued to be Optimized.

 

In the first two months, the total value of imports and exports was 4,544.1 billion yuan, an increase of 0.7 percent year on year, while that in last December was down by 1.2 percent. Data from relevant departments showed that, after adjusting the influences from the Spring Festival, the total value of imports and exports, that of exports, and that of imports went up by 10.2 percent, 7.8 percent and 12.9 percent respectively. In the first two months, the total value of exports was 2,426.4 billion yuan, up by 0.1 percent; the total value of imports was 2,117.7 billion yuan, an increase of 1.5 percent. The trade balance was 308.7 billion yuan in surplus. The value of general trade increased by 3.9 percent, accounting for 60.5 percent of the total value of imports and exports, or 1.9 percentage points higher than the same period of last year. The total value of imports and exports by private enterprises went up by 4.4 percent, accounting for 40.6 percent of the total value of imports and exports, or 1.4 percentage points higher than the same period of last year. In the first two months, the export delivery value of industrial enterprises above the designated size reached 1,725.5 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 4.2 percent, or 0.1 percentage point higher than that in last December.

 

Generally speaking, the national economy continued to stay stable with growing momentum in the first two months. However, we must be aware that there are many instabilities and uncertainties from the external environment, the structural contradictions are salient at home, and the economy is facing downward pressure. For the next step, we must take Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as the guidance, implement the spirits of the Central Economic Work Conference and the arrangements in the Report on the Work of the Government, follow the general working guideline of making progress while maintaining stability, keep all sectors fully motivated, and stress on the policy implementation to ensure good momentum with steady growth and promote a good start of the economy.

 

Notes:

 

1. The growth rate of value added of 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. Industrial enterprises above designated size are industrial enterprises with annual revenue from principal business over 20 million yuan.

 

As industrial enterprises above the designated size change 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. .

 

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

 

4. The scope of the total retail sales of consumer goods include all legal entities, establishments and self-employed individuals involved in retail trades or providing catering services. Specifically, businesses above the designated size include wholesale enterprises (businesses), retail enterprises (businesses) and lodging and catering enterprises (businesses) with annual revenue from principal business over 20 million yuan, 5 million yuan and 2 million yuan respectively.

 

As the wholesale, retail, and lodging and catering enterprises (businesses) above the designated size change 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 the retail sales of consumer goods by businesses above the designated size is consistent with the current period and different from the coverage of data published last year. The main reasons are as follows: First, every year, some enterprises (businesses) are included in the survey as they meet the threshold, while some enterprises (businesses) are removed from the survey because of downsizing. Besides, enterprises (businesses) that have newly gone into operation, been bankrupted, cancelled their registrations or had their business licenses revoked also cause impact. Second, as for the monthly data of 2019, the businesses above the designated size by the end of 2018 were reviewed and verified and enterprises (businesses) that failed to meet the threshold were recategorized as below the designated size based on the results from the entities inventory checking of the fourth economic census (from August to December, 2018).

 

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. virtue goods and services).

 

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

 

5. The data of investment in fixed assets of the same period last year are revised according to the results of statistical law enforcement and inspection and the results from the entities inventory checking of the fourth economic census. The growth rates are calculated on a comparable basis.

 

6. Employed people refer to people aged 16 and above who have the ability to work and engage in gainful employment for remuneration payment or business income.

 

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

 

8. Due to the rounding-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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