The Performance of National Economy Continued to Improve with Major Indicators Manifesting Positive Changes in April
National Bureau of Statistics of China2020-05-15 10:00




National Bureau of Statistics of China

15 May 2020

 

In April, under the strong leadership of CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, the whole nation coordinated efforts to advance both the epidemic prevention and control and the economic and social development. The positive momentum of domestic epidemic prevention and control was further consolidated and the resumption of work, production and market was advanced steadily. The production demand improved gradually, basic industries provided strong support and market expection was generally stable. New driving forces grew against the trend and the economy showed more vitality. Major economic indicators sustained the recovering and improving trend since March.

 

1. The Industrial Production Shifted from Decline to Growth and the Growth Rate of Manufacturing Rebounded Noticeably.

 

The total value added of the industrial enterprises above the designated size, which dropped by 1.1 percent in March, grew by 3.9 percent year on year in April, or up by 2.27 percent month on month. In the first four months, the total value added of the industrial enterprises above the designated size went down by 4.9 percent year on year, or 3.5 percentage points slower than the decline of the first quarter. An analysis by types of ownership showed that, in April, the value added of the state holding enterprises went up by 0.5 percent; share-holding enterprises up by 4.0 percent; enterprises funded by foreign investors or investors from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan up by 3.9 percent; and private enterprises up by 7.0 percent. In terms of sectors, the value added of mining increased by 0.3 percent year on year, that of manufacturing, which declined by 1.8 percent in March, grew by 5.0 percent and the production and supply of electricity, thermal power, gas and water grew by 0.2 percent. High-tech manufacturing and equipment manufacturing witnessed fast growth. In April, the value added of high-tech manufacturing and equipment manufacturing grew by 10.5 percent and 9.3 percent respectively, 6.6 percentage points and 5.4 percentage points higher than that of the industrial enterprises above the designated size. Specifically, the production of cables, excavators and shovelling machinery, integrated circuits, industrial robots and micro computers grew by 43.8 percent, 40.8 percent, 29.2 percent, 26.6 percent and 26.2 percent respectively.

 

2. The Decline of Service Sector Narrowed and Modern Service Industry Grew Well.

 

In April, the Index of Services Production dropped by 4.5 percent year on year, a decline narrowed by 4.6 percentage points compared with that in March. In the first four months, the Index of Services Production declined by 9.9 percent year on year, 1.8 percentage points less than that in the first quarter. Specifically, in April, information transmission, software and information technology services, financial services and real estate grew by 5.2 percent, 4.4 percent and 1.1 percent year on year respectively; transportation, storage and post, wholesale and retail trades, and accomodation and catering declined by 5.0 percent, 6.6 percent and 33.7 percent, a decline narrowed by 9.7 percentage points, 8.1 percentage points and 15.4 percentage points compared with that of March. In the first quarter, business revenue of service enterprises above the designated size dropped by 11.5 percent year on year, of which that of information transmission, software and information technology services grew by 4.0 percent. In April, the Business Activity Index for services was 52.1 percent, 0.3 percentage point higher than that in March. Business activities for the majority of sectors were restored steadily. Among 21 sectors surveyed, there were 14 sectors registering the Business Activity Index above 50.0 percent. The New Orders Index for services reached 51.9 percent, 2.6 percentage points higher than that in March; the Business Activity Expectation Index stood at 59.2 percent, 2.4 percentage points higher.

 

3. The Market Sales Picked Up and the Proportion of Online Retail Sales of Physical Goods Continued to Grow.

 

In April, the total retail sales of consumer goods reached 2,817.8 billion yuan, a year-on-year decline of 7.5 percent, registering a decline narrowed by 8.3 percentage points compared with that in March, or a month-on-month growth of 0.32 percent. In the first four months, the total retail sales of consumer goods reached 10,675.8 billion yuan, down by 16.2 percent year on year, a decline narrowed by 2.8 percentage points compared with that in the first quarter. Analyzed by different areas, in April, the retail sales in urban areas reached 2,455.8 billion yuan, down by 7.5 percent year on year, and the retail sales in rural areas stood at 362.0 billion yuan, down by 7.7 percent. Grouped by consumption patterns, the revenue of catering was 230.7 billion yuan, down by 31.1 percent; and the retail sales of goods were 2,587.1 billion yuan, down by 4.6 percent. The retail sales of goods for basic living grew fast. Among the retail sales by businesses above the designated size, that of grain, oil and food and that of beverages grew by 18.2 percent and 12.9 percent. Sales of upgraded consumer goods improved with telecommunication equipments and cultural and office appliances up by 12.2 percent and 6.5 percent respectively, 5.7 percentage points and 0.4 percentage point higher than that in March. The online retail sales were active. The national online retail sales in the first four months reached 3,069.8 billion yuan, up by 1.7 percent year on year, while that in the first quarter dropped by 0.8 percent. Of the total, the online retail sales of physical goods grew by 8.6 percent, 2.7 percentage points higher than that in the first quarter, accounting for 24.1 percent of the total retail sales of consumer goods, 0.5 percentage point higher.

 

4. The Investment in Fixed Assets Improved and the Decline of Investment in High-tech Industries Narrowed Significantly.

 

In the first four months, the investment in fixed assets (excluding rural households) was 13,682.4 billion yuan, a year-on-year decline of 10.3 percent, which was narrowed by 5.8 percentage points compared with that in the first quarter; the month-on-month growth in April was 6.19 percent. Specifically, the investment in infrastructure was down by 11.8 percent year on year, manufacturing down by 18.8 percent and real estate development down by 3.3 percent, the decline of which narrowed by 7.9 percentage points, 6.4 percentage points and 4.4 percentage points compared with that in the first quarter. The floor space of commercial buildings sold reached 339.73 million square meters, down by 19.3 percent, and the total sales of commercial buildings were 3,186.3 billion yuan, down by 18.6 percent, 7.0 percentage points and 6.1 percentage points slower than the decline in the first quarter. By industries, the investment in the primary industry went down by 5.4 percent year on year; that in the secondary industry down by 16.0 percent; that in the tertiary industry down by 7.8 percent. The decline was narrowed by 8.4 percentage points, 5.9 percentage points and 5.7 percentage points compared with the first quarter respectively. The investment in high-tech industries went down by 3.0 percent, 7.3 percentage points slower than the decline of the total investment and 9.1 percentage points slower than the decline of the first quarter, of which the investment in high-tech manufacturing industries and high-tech service industries went down by 3.6 percent and 1.7 percent respectively. In terms of high-tech manufacturing, the investment in manufacturing of computers and office devices grew by 15.4 percent. In terms of high-tech services, the investment in services for commercialization of scientific and technological research findings, e-commerce services and professional technical services grew by 28.0 percent, 25.6 percent and 12.5 percent respectively. The investment in social sectors decreased by 3.1 percent, 5.7 percentage points less than the decrease in the first quarter. Specifically, the year-on-year growth of investment in health sector and education sector shifted from negative to positive, standing at 4.7 percent and 2.9 percent respectively.

 

5. The Rise of Consumer Price Continued to Fall and the Decline of Producer Prices for Industrial Products Expanded.

 

In April, the consumer price went up by 3.3 percent year on year, 1.0 percentage point lower than that in March, down by 0.9 percent month on month. For the first four months, the consumer price went up by 4.5 percent year on year. Grouped by commodity categories, in April, prices for food, tobacco and alcohol went up by 11.3 percent year on year; clothing down by 0.4 percent; housing down by 0.3 percent; articles and services for daily use up by 0.1 percent; transport and communication down by 4.9 percent; education, culture and recreation up by 2.0 percent; medical services and health care up by 2.2 percent; other articles and services up by 4.8 percent. Among the prices for food, tobacco and alcohol, the prices for grain went up by 1.2 percent year on year, fresh vegetables down by 3.7 percent, pork up by 96.9 percent and fresh fruits down by 10.5 percent. Core CPI excluding the price of food and energy went up by 1.1 percent, 0.1 percentage point lower than that in March.

 

In April, the producer prices for industrial products went down by 3.1 percent year on year, a decline expanded by 1.6 percentage points compared with that in March, down by 1.3 percent month on month. The purchasing prices for industrial producers went down by 3.8 percent year on year, down by 2.3 percent month on month. For the first four months, the producer prices for industrial products and the purchasing prices for industrial producers went down by 1.2 percent and 1.5 percent year on year respectively.

 

6. The Urban Surveyed Unemployment Rate Rose Slightly and the Employment for Major Labor Force Was Generally Stable.

 

In the first four months, the newly increased employed people in urban areas numbered 3.54 million, 1.05 million less than that in the same period last year. In April, the urban surveyed unemployment rate was 6.0 percent, 0.1 percentage point higher than that in March, among which, the surveyed unemployment rate for population aged from 16 to 24, and from 25 to 59 was 13.8 percent and 5.5 percent respectively, 0.5 percentage point and 0.1 percentage point higher than the previous month. The urban surveyed unemployment rate in 31 major cities was 5.8 percent, 0.1 percentage point higher than that in March. In April, the employees of enterprises worked averagely 44.3 hours per week, 0.5 hour less than that in March.

 

7. Exports of Goods Witnessed a Year-on-Year Growth and the Trade Structure Continued to be Optimized.

 

In April, the total value of imports and exports of goods was 2,496.6 billion yuan, down by 0.7 percent year on year, 0.1 percentage point slower than the decline of last month. Specifically, the total value of exports was 1,407.4 billion yuan, up by 8.2 percent, while that in March down by 3.5 percent; the total value of imports was 1,089.2 billion yuan, down by 10.2 percent. The trade balance was 318.1 billion yuan in surplus. In the first four months, the total value of imports and exports was 9,071.3 billion yuan, down by 4.9 percent. Specifically, the value of exports was 4,743.5 billion yuan, down by 6.4 percent; the value of imports was 4,327.8 billion yuan, down by 3.2 percent. The trade structure continued to be optimized. In the first four months, general trade accounted for 59.8 percent of the total trade value, 0.2 percentage point higher than that in the same period last year. The imports and exports by private enterprises accounted for 43.2 percent of the total, 2.3 percentage points higher than that of the same period last year.

 

Generally speaking, with main economic indicators improving in April, the national economy is gradually returning back to nomal. However, we should be aware that given the continuous spread of the epidemic abroad, the stability and recovery of the national economy is still faced with multiple challenges. Under the complicated circumstances, we must coordinate efforts to advance both the prevention and control of the epidemic and the ecomomic and social development under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. In the context of regular epidemic prevention and control, we must follow the general working guideline of making progress while maintaining stability, adhere to the new development philosophy, focus on the supply-side structural reform, make solid efforts to stabilize employment, finance, foreign trade, foreign investment, domestic investment, and market expectations and comprehensively implement the tasks to safeguard residential employment, people’s livelihood, market entities, food and energy security, stability of industrial and supply chains and operations at grassroots levels. We must expand domestic demand, address difficulties for enterprises, ensure economic fundamentals remained stable, facilitate a stable and sound economic development, so as to ensure the victory of the fight against poverty and to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

 

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: 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 every year. Besides, enterprises (businesses) that have newly gone into operation, been bankrupted, cancelled their registrations or had their business licenses revoked also cause impact.

 

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.

 

Data of the total retail sales of consumer goods in 2019 are revised according to the results of the fourth national economic census. The monthly growth rate of 2020 is calculated on a comparable basis.

 

5. Data of investment in fixed assets of the same period last year are revised according to the results of statistical law enforcement and inspection, the fourth national economic census and regulations of statistical survey programs. The growth rates are calculated on a comparable baiss.

 

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.

Annex
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