The National Economy Sustained Steady Recovery in August
National Bureau of Statistics of China2020-09-15 10:00




National Bureau of Statistics of China

15 September 2020

 

In August, despite the dual pressure from the epidemic and floods, under strong leadership of CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, all regions and departments coordinated efforts to advance both the epidemic prevention and control and the economic and social development. The production demand continued to rebound, employment and prices were generally stable, the driving force and vitality of development were further strengthened, and the national economy sustained steady recovery.

 

1. The Recovery of Industrial Production Accelerated and the Accumulated Growth Rate Shifted from Negative to Positive.

 

The total value added of the industrial enterprises above the designated size grew by 5.6 percent year on year in August, 0.8 percentage point higher than that in July, or up by 1.02 percent month on month. In the first eight months, the total value added of the industrial enterprises above the designated size went up by 0.4 percent year on year, shifting from negative to positive. An analysis by types of ownership showed that, in August, the value added of the state holding enterprises went up by 5.2 percent; share-holding enterprises up by 5.8 percent; enterprises funded by foreign investors or investors from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan up by 5.3 percent; and private enterprises up by 5.7 percent. In terms of sectors, the value added of mining increased by 1.6 percent year on year, manufacturing up by 6.0 percent and the production and supply of electricity, thermal power, gas and water grew by 5.8 percent. In August, the value added of equipment manufacturing and high-tech manufacturing grew by 10.8 percent and 7.6 percent year on year respectively, 5.2 percentage points and 2.0 percentage points higher than that of the industrial enterprises above the designated size. Specifically, the production of excavating and shoveling machinery, industrial robots, smart phones, integrated circuits, and micro computers grew by 34.1 percent, 32.5 percent, 12.1 percent, 12.1 percent and 12.0 percent respectively.

 

In the first seven months, the total profits made by industrial enterprises above the designated size stood at 3,102.3 billion yuan, down by 8.1 percent year on year, a decline narrowed by 4.7 percentage points compared with that in the first six months. In July, the total profits made by industrial enterprises above the designated size went up by 19.6 percent year on year, 8.1 percentage points higher than that in June.

 

2. The Services Production Grew Steadily and Consumer Services Continued to Pick up.

 

In August, the Index of Services Production grew by 4.0 percent year on year, up by 0.5 percentage point compared with that in July. In the first eight months, the Index of Services Production declined by 3.6 percent year on year, a decline narrowed by 1.1 percentage points compared with that in the first seven months. Specifically, in August, information transmission, software and information technology services, real estate, and transportation, storage and postal services grew by 13.8 percent, 9.4 percent and 3.3 percent year on year respectively, 0.1 percentage point, 1.6 percentage points, and 1.2 percentage points higher than that in July. In August, the Business Activity Index for services was 54.3 percent, 1.2 percentage points higher than that in July. By sectors, the Business Activity Index for transportation and telecommunication stayed above 60.0 percent for the fourth consecutive month; accommodation, catering and culture, sports and recreation manifested a sign of recovery, with the Business Activity Index above 57.0 percent; that for leasing and commercial services rose above 50.0 percent.

 

In the first seven months, business revenue of service enterprises above the designated size dropped by 3.8 percent year on year, a decline narrowed by 0.9 percentage point compared with that in the first six months; of which that of information transmission, software and information technology services grew by 10.3 percent.

 

3. The Market Sales Shifted from Decline to Growth and the Online Retail Sales Continued to Grow.

 

In August, the total retail sales of consumer goods reached 3,357.1 billion yuan, a year-on-year growth of 0.5 percent, shifting from negative to positive for the first time this year; or a month-on-month growth of 1.25 percent. In the first eight months, the total retail sales of consumer goods reached 23,802.9 billion yuan, down by 8.6 percent year on year, a decline narrowed by 1.3 percentage points compared with that in the first seven months. Analyzed by different areas, in August, the retail sales in urban areas reached 2,927.3 billion yuan, up by 0.5 percent year on year, and the retail sales in rural areas stood at 429.8 billion yuan, up by 0.7 percent. Grouped by consumption patterns, the revenue of catering was 361.9 billion yuan, down by 7.0 percent year on year; and the retail sales of goods were 2,995.1 billion yuan, up by 1.5 percent. The sales of upgraded consumption goods grew fast. In August, sales of communication equipment, cosmetics, gold, silver and jewelry and automobiles grew by 25.1 percent, 19.0 percent, 15.3 percent, and 11.8 percent respectively. The online retail sales continued to grow. The national online retail sales In the first eight months reached 7,032.6 billion yuan, up by 9.5 percent year on year, 0.5 percentage point higher than that in the first seven months. Of the total, the online retail sales of physical goods grew by 15.8 percent, 0.1 percentage point higher than that in the first seven months, accounting for 24.6 percent of the total retail sales of consumer goods.

 

4. The Decline of the Investment in Fixed Assets Narrowed Noticeably and the Structure of Investment Continued to be Optimized.

 

In the first eight months, the investment in fixed assets (excluding rural households) witnessed a year-on-year decline of 0.3 percent, a decline narrowed by 1.3 percentage points compared with that in the first seven months; the month-on-month growth in August was 4.18 percent. Specifically, the investment in infrastructure was down by 0.3 percent year on year, manufacturing down by 8.1 percent, 0.7 percentage point and 2.1 percentage points narrower than the decline in the first seven months respectively; real estate development grew by 4.6 percent, 1.2 percentage points higher compared with that in the first seven months. The floor space of commercial buildings sold reached 984.86 million square meters, down by 3.3 percent year on year, a decline narrowed by 2.5 percentage points compared with that in the first seven months; and the total sales of commercial buildings were 9,694.3 billion yuan, up by 1.6 percent, while that in the first seven months was a decline of 2.1 percent. By industries, the investment in the primary industry went up by 11.5 percent year on year, 3.8 percentage points higher than that in the first seven months; that in the secondary industry down by 4.8 percent, a decline narrowed by 2.6 percentage points compared with that in the first seven months; that in the tertiary industry up by 1.4 percent, 0.6 percentage point higher than that in the first seven months. The investment in high-tech industries went up by 8.2 percent, 0.2 percentage point higher than that in the first seven months; of which the investment in high-tech manufacturing industries and high-tech service industries grew by 8.8 percent and 7.2 percent respectively. In terms of high-tech manufacturing, the investment in pharmaceutical manufacturing and electronic and communication devices manufacturing grew by 18.3 percent and 7.8 percent respectively. In terms of high-tech services, the investment in e-commerce services and services for commercialization of scientific and technological research findings grew by 29.7 percent and 18.2 percent respectively. The investment in social sectors grew by 8.1 percent. Specifically, the investment in health sector and education sector grew by 17.7 percent and 11.8 percent. In the first eight months, the total planned investment in newly-started projects grew by 12.1 percent, and funds in place for investment grew by 3.7 percent.

 

5. The Import and Export of Goods Continued to Grow and the Trade Structure Was Adjusted and Optimized.

 

In August, the total value of import and export of goods was 2,883.9 billion yuan, up by 6.0 percent year on year. Specifically, the total value of exports was 1,650.2 billion yuan, up by 11.6 percent; the total value of imports was 1,233.6 billion yuan, down by 0.5 percent. The trade balance was 416.6 billion yuan in surplus. In the first eight months, the total value of imports and exports was 20,048.8 billion yuan, down by 0.6 percent year on year. Specifically, the value of exports was 11,048.3 billion yuan, up by 0.8 percent, and the accumulated growth rate achieved positive growth for the first time this year; the value of imports was 9,000.5 billion yuan, down by 2.3 percent. The trade pattern continued to be adjusted. The exports of high-tech products and mechanical and electrical products grew by 5.5 percent and 2.1 percent respectively. General trade accounted for 60.3 percent of the total trade value, 0.7 percentage point higher than that in the same period last year. The imports and exports by private enterprises accounted for 45.9 percent of the total, 3.9 percentage points higher than that in the same period last year.

 

6. The Urban Surveyed Unemployment Rate Declined Slightly and the Employment Was Generally Stable.

 

In the first eight months, the newly increased employed people in urban areas numbered 7.81 million, 2.03 million less than that in the same period last year. In August, the urban surveyed unemployment rate was 5.6 percent, 0.1 percentage point lower than that in July, among which, the surveyed unemployment rate for population aged from 25 to 59 was 4.8 percent, 0.2 percentage point lower than that in July. The urban surveyed unemployment rate in 31 major cities was 5.7 percent, 0.1 percentage point lower than that in July. In August, the employees of enterprises worked averagely 46.8 hours per week, the same as that in July.

 

7. The Growth of Consumer Price Eased Slightly and the Decline of Producer Prices for Industrial Products Continued to Narrow.

 

In August, the consumer price went up by 2.4 percent year on year, 0.3 percentage point lower than that in July, or up by 0.4 percent month on month. For the first eight months, the consumer price went up by 3.5 percent year on year, 0.2 percentage point lower than that in the first seven months. Grouped by commodity categories, in August, prices for food, tobacco and alcohol went up by 8.8 percent year on year; clothing down by 0.5 percent; housing down by 0.7 percent; articles and services for daily use down by 0.1 percent; transport and communication down by 3.9 percent; education, culture and recreation stayed the same; medical services and health care up by 1.5 percent; other articles and services up by 6.1 percent. Among the prices for food, tobacco and alcohol, the prices for pork went up by 52.6 percent, fresh vegetables up by 11.7 percent, grain up by 1.5 percent and fresh fruits down by 19.8 percent. Core CPI excluding the price of food and energy went up by 0.5 percent, the same as that in July.

 

In August, the producer prices for industrial products went down by 2.0 percent year on year, a decline narrowed by 0.4 percentage point compared with that in July, or up by 0.3 percent month on month. The purchasing prices for industrial producers went down by 2.5 percent year on year, 0.8 percentage point narrower than the decline in July, or up by 0.6 percent month on month. In the first eight months, the producer prices for industrial products and the purchasing prices for industrial producers went down by 2.0 percent and 2.7 percent year on year respectively.

 

8. The Financial Sector Was Generally Stable and Market Confidence Was Boosted.

 

By the end of August, the stock of Aggregate Financing to the Real Economy totaled 277 trillion yuan, up by 13.3 percent year on year. Specifically, loans granted to the real economy in Renminbi stood at 166 trillion yuan, an increase of 13.3 percent. Money supply of broad sense (M2) was 214 trillion yuan, up by 10.4 percent year on year; money supply of narrow sense (M1) was 60 trillion yuan, up by 8.0 percent, 1.1 percentage points higher than that by the end of July; cash in circulation (M0) was 8 trillion yuan, up by 9.4 percent. By the end of August, loans in Renminbi reached 167 trillion yuan, a year-on-year growth of 13.0 percent, the same as that by the end of July. In August, loans in Renminbi grew by 1.28 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 69.4 billion yuan.

 

In August, Composite PMI Output Index was 54.5 percent, 0.4 percentage point higher than that in July. Specifically, the Manufacturing PMI stood at 51.0 percent and the Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index reached 55.2 percent, both above the threshold for six months in a row.

 

Generally speaking, the national economy in August sustained steady recovery and progress was gradually made in implementing tasks to stabilize employment, finance, foreign trade, foreign investment, domestic investment, and market expectations and to safeguard residential employment, people’s livelihood, market entities, food and energy security, stability of industrial and supply chains and operations at grassroots levels. However, with mounting uncertainties in the international landscape and pronounced domestic structural problems, there remains huge pressure to keep employment and businesses stable and to safeguard people’s livelihood, and more efforts should be made to consolidate the foundation for economic stabilization and recovery. At the next stage, under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, we must follow the general working guideline of making progress while maintaining stability, focus on the supply-side structural reform, coordinate efforts to advance both the prevention and control of the epidemic and the economic and social development following the requirements of high-quality development and the new dual-circulation development pattern. We must boost dynamism by deepening reform, generate new driving forces by technological innovation, create new advantages by pursuing greater opening-up and redouble our efforts to ensure effective implementation of policies so as to meet the targets of the whole year.

 

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, canceled 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, canceled 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 basis.

 

6. Data of imports and exports are from the General Administration of Customsdata of newly increased employed people in urban areas are from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security; and data of the supply of money and credit are from the People’s Bank of China.

 

7. 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.

 

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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