National Economy Maintained the Stable and Progressing Momentum in August
National Bureau of Statistics of China2019-09-16 10:00




National Bureau of Statistics of China

16 September 2019

 

In August, faced with the complex and changing international economic situation, 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, focused on the supply-side structural reform, insisted on the new development philosophy, promoted high-quality development, took coordinated steps to stabilize growth, stimulate reform, adjust structure, benefit people’s livelihood, fend off risk and ensure stability, strengthened the countercyclical macro policy regulation, and intensified efforts on maintaining stability in areas like employment, financial sector, foreign trade, foreign investment, domestic investment and market expectation. The national economy sustained the momentum of progress in overall stability.

 

1. The Service Sector Witnessed Growth amid Stability and Modern Service Industries Performed Well.

 

In August, the Index of Services Production increased by 6.4 percent year on year, and 0.1 percentage point higher than that of July. Information transmission, software and information technology services, and leasing and business services grew by 16.9 percent and 8.1 percent respectively, 10.5 percentage points and 1.7 percentage points higher than the growth of the Index of Services Production. The Business Activity Index for services was 52.5 percent, continuing to stay above the 50-point mark separating growth from contraction. The Business Activity Index for sectors like railway transport, telecommunication, broadcast, television and satellite transmission services, and internet, software and information technology services all stayed within the expansion range with the index higher than 58.0 percent. The Business Activity Expectation Index for services was 59.8 percent, 0.7 percentage point higher than the previous month. In the first eight months, the Index of Services Production grew by 7.0 percent year on year, 0.1 percentage point lower than that of the first seven months.

 

2. The Industrial Production Witnessed a Mild Slowdown amid Stability, and Industrial Structure Experienced Adjustment and Optimization.

 

In August, the total value added of the industrial enterprises above the designated size grew by 4.4 percent year on year, 0.4 percentage point slower than last month, or grew by 0.32 percent month on month, 0.13 percentage point faster than last month. An analysis by types of ownership showed that, the value added of the state holding enterprises went up by 4.1 percent; share-holding enterprises up by 5.3 percent; and enterprises funded by foreign investors or investors from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan up by 1.3 percent. In terms of sectors, the value added of the mining increased by 3.7 percent, the manufacturing grew by 4.3 percent and the production and supply of electricity, thermal power, gas and water grew by 5.9 percent. The value added of high-tech manufacturing grew by 6.1 percent, 1.7 percentage points faster than that of the industrial enterprises above the designated size; specifically, manufacturing of medical equipment and measuring instrument and equipment, manufacturing of medicine, and manufacturing of electronic and communication equipment grew by 11.8 percent, 8.3 percent and 5.4 percent, or 7.4 percentage points, 3.9 percentage points and 1.0 percentage point faster than that of the industrial enterprises above the designated size. The production of 3D printing equipment, smart wristbands, smart watches, and solar cells grew by 152.9 percent, 74.2 percent, 51.8 percent and 42.1 percent respectively. Of the sub-indexes of the Manufacturing PMI, the Production Index and the Supplier Delivery Time Index reached 51.9 percent and 50.3 percent, both staying above the threshold. In the first eight months, the total value added of the industrial enterprises above the designated size grew by 5.6 percent, 0.2 percentage point lower than that of the first seven months.

 

3. The Market Sales Grew Steadily, and the Growth of Upgraded Goods Accelerated.

 

In August, the total retail sales of consumer goods reached 3,389.6 billion yuan, a year-on-year growth of 7.5 percent, 0.1 percentage point lower than last month. Specifically, the retail sales of consumer goods excluding automobiles increased by 9.3 percent, 0.5 percentage point faster than last month. Analyzed by different areas, the retail sales in urban areas reached 2,913.4 billion yuan, up by 7.2 percent, and the retail sales in rural areas stood at 476.2 billion yuan, up by 8.9 percent. Grouped by consumption patterns, the income of the catering was 385.7 billion yuan, up by 9.7 percent; and the retail sales of goods were 3,003.9 billion yuan, up by 7.2 percent. The growth of upgraded goods accelerated. The retail sales of office supplies by business and cosmetics above the designated size grew by 19.8 percent and 12.8 percent, or 5.3 percentage points and 3.4 percentage points faster than last month. In the first eight months, the total retail sales of consumer goods reached 26,217.9 billion yuan, up by 8.2 percent, and 0.1 percent point lower than that of the first seven months.

 

In the first eight months, the online retail sales reached 6,439.3 billion yuan, up by 16.8 percent year on year, growing at the same speed as that of the first seven months. Of the total, the online retail sales of physical goods reached 5,074.5 billion yuan, up by 20.8 percent, accounting for 19.4 percent of the total retail sales of consumer goods, 2.1 percentage points higher than that of the same period last year.

 

4. The Investment Showed Steady Growth, and the Investment in Infrastructure Accelerated.

 

In the first eight months, the investment in fixed assets (excluding rural households) was 40,062.8 billion yuan, a year-on-year growth of 5.5 percent, or 0.2 percentage point slower than the first seven months. Specifically, the investment in infrastructure grew by 4.2 percent, 0.4 percentage point faster than that of the first seven months; private investment reached 23,696.3 billion yuan, up by 4.9 percent, 0.5 percentage point less than that of the first seven months; the total investment in real estate development was 8,458.9 billion yuan, a year-on-year growth of 10.5 percent, 0.1 percentage point lower than that of the first seven months; the floor space of commercial buildings sold reached 1,018.49 million square meters, down by 0.6 percent year on year, and the total sales of commercial buildings were 9,537.3 billion yuan, up by 6.7 percent. In terms of sectors, the investment in the primary industry went down by 3.4 percent; that in the secondary industry grew by 2.1 percent, among which, the investment in manufacturing grew by 2.6 percent; that in the tertiary industry grew by 7.3 percent. The investment in high-tech industries grew fast, specifically, that in high-tech manufacturing and high-tech services went up by 12.0 percent and 14.9 percent, or 6.5 percentage points and 9.4 percentage points faster than that of the total investment.

 

5. The Employment was Generally Stable, and the Surveyed Unemployment Rate Dropped Slightly.

 

In the first eight months, the newly increased employed people in urban areas numbered 9.84 million, accounting for 89.5 percent of the whole-year target. In August, the surveyed urban unemployment rate was 5.2 percent, 0.1 percentage point lower than that of last month, among which, the surveyed unemployed rate for population aged from 25 to 59 was 4.5 percent, 0.1 percentage point lower than last month. The urban surveyed unemployment rate in 31 major cities was 5.2 percent. The employees of enterprises worked averagely 46.6 hours per week, an increase of 0.1 hour over last month.

 

6. The Consumer Price Was Basically Stable, and the Producer Prices for Industrial Products Dropped.

 

In August, the consumer price went up by 2.8 percent year on year, same as last month, and up by 0.7 percent month on month. Grouped by commodity categories, prices for food, tobacco and alcohol went up by 7.3 percent year on year; clothing up by 1.6 percent; housing up by 1.0 percent; articles and services for daily use up by 0.7 percent; transport and communication down by 2.3 percent; education, culture and recreation up by 2.1 percent; medical services and health care up by 2.3 percent; other articles and services up by 4.7 percent. Core CPI excluding the price of food and energy went up by 1.5 percent, 0.1 percentage point lower than last month. For the first eight months, the consumer price went up by 2.4 percent year on year.

 

In August, the producer prices for industrial products went down by 0.8 percent year on year, down by 0.1 percent month on month. The purchasing prices for industrial producers went down by 1.3 percent year on year, down by 0.2 percent month on month. For the first eight months, the producer prices for industrial products went up by 0.1 percent year on year and the purchasing prices for industrial producers went down by 0.2 percent year on year.

 

7. The Import and Export Continued to Grow, and the Trade Structure Was Further Optimized.

 

In August, the total value of imports and exports was 2,717.5 billion yuan, up by 0.1 percent year on year. Of the total, the total value of exports was 1,478.6 billion yuan, up by 2.6 percent; the total value of imports was 1,239.0 billion yuan, down by 2.6 percent. The trade balance was 239.6 billion yuan in surplus. The foreign investment actually utilized amounted to 70.9 billion yuan, up by 3.6 percent year on year. In the first eight months, the trade size continued to expand, with the total value of imports and exports reaching 20,129.4 billion yuan, up by 3.6 percent. Of the total, the value of exports was 10,951.9 billion yuan, up by 6.1 percent; the value of imports was 9,177.5 billion yuan, up by 0.8 percent. The mode and structure of trade continued to be optimized. The import and export of general trade grew by 5.4 percent, accounting for 59.8 percent of the total value of imports and exports, 1 percentage point higher than that of the same period last year. The total value of imports and exports by private enterprises went up by 11.2 percent, accounting for 42.2 percent of the total value of imports and exports, or 2.9 percentage points higher than that of the same period last year. The export delivery value of industrial enterprises above the designated size reached 7,930.3 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 2.9 percent. The foreign investment actually utilized amounted to 604.0 billion yuan, up by 6.9 percent year on year.

 

8. The Supply-side Structural Reform was Further Advanced, and Performance of Enterprises was Improved.

 

The micro leverage ratio dropped. By the end of July, the asset-liability ratio of industrial enterprises above the designated size was 56.8 percent, a year-on-year decrease of 0.5 percentage point. The commercial housing inventory was reduced. By the end of August, the floor space of commercial buildings for sale was 497.84 million square meters, down by 7.6 percent year on year, or 0.92 million square meters less compared with that by the end of July. Unit cost for enterprise was lowered compared with that at the beginning of the year. Investment in weak areas went up. For the first eight months, the investment in ecological protection and treatment of environmental pollution, and in education went up by 42.2 percent and 19.0 percent, or 36.7 percentage points and 13.5 percentage points faster than that of the total investment.

 

In the first seven months, the operating profits of service enterprises above the designated size went up by 9.2 percent year on year; the business revenue of service enterprises above the designated size went up by 9.6 percent year on year, among which, that of the strategic emerging services, high-tech services, and science and technology services went up by 12.2 percent, 12.0 percent and 11.6 percent, or 2.6 percentage points, 2.4 percentage points and 2.0 percentage points faster than that of the service enterprises above the designated size. The profits made by the industrial enterprises above the designated size went down by 1.7 percent year on year, 0.7 percentage point less than that of the first six months; specifically, the profits in July went up by 2.6 percent year on year, while that of June down by 3.1 percent. The business revenue of industrial enterprises above the designated size went up by 4.9 percent year on year, 0.2 percentage point higher than that of the first six months. The profit rate of the business revenue of the industrial enterprises above the designated size was 5.87 percent, an increase of 0.01 percentage point.

 

Meanwhile, we must be aware that international instabilities and uncertainties are increasing significantly, and that at home, economic structural issues are still prominent and the downward pressure on economy are mounting. Next step, we must continue to follow the general working guideline of making progress while maintaining stability, strengthen the countercyclical adjustment, intensify efforts on policy implementation, fully maintain stability in areas like employment, financial sector, foreign trade, foreign investment, domestic investment and market expectation, consolidate and advance the benefits of reform, facilitate the formation of a strong domestic market, so as to ensure the sustained and healthy economic development. 

 

Notes:

 

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

 

2. 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.

 

3. 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.

 

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

 

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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