China’s investment in manufacturing grew 8.7 percent year-on-year in the first three quarters of 2018, signaling that corporate expectations for the future of the economy are improving despite mounting global trade uncertainties, the country’s top industry regulator said on Oct 23.
Xin Guobin, vice-minister of industry and information technology, said the figure was 4.5 percentage points higher than that of the same period last year, indicating the resilience of China’s sprawling manufacturing sector.
“Now we are very glad to see that the monthly investment growth rate has been rising for six straight months,” Xin said at a news conference in Beijing.
The rebound is partly attributable to the government’s string of policies encouraging private investment and the corporate sector’s intensified desire to seek high-quality growth, Xin said.
China has rolled out a slate of measures to lower corporate operational costs and streamline approval processes for investment in high-tech industries. From January to September, private investors demonstrated a rise in confidence toward manufacturing, with their investment surging 9.5 percent year-on-year. That is 5.3 percentage points higher than that of last year.
China’s industrial output expanded 6.4 percent year-on-year in the January-September period. Although 0.3 percentage point lower than the first half of this year, it was faster than what had been expected in the beginning of this year.
“Industrial production has remained basically stable. We have taken coordinated steps to promote reform and make structural adjustments,” Xin added.
Qu Xianming, a member of the government think tank National Manufacturing Strategy Advisory Committee, said: “Private investment is picking up amid the increasingly complex international environment. Such a recovery will provide an important support for China to cope with complex economic situations.”
One of the most favorable developments is the 15.2 percent year-on-year growth of investment in technical renovation, which means that companies invest resources to upgrade their technologies and equipment on the basis of existing fixed assets, Qu said.
“Such input often comes with high returns and rapid results. It is the major driving force for expansion and mirrors an optimization in investment structure,” Qu said.
Major Chinese companies have increased inputs in technical renovation, such as Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.