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National economy maintained overall stability with steady progress made in restructuring in the first three quarters of 2019

Updated: Oct 18,2019 03:26 PM    National Bureau of Statistics of China

National Bureau of Statistics of China

18 October 2019

In the first three quarters of 2019, faced with mounting risks and challenges both at home and abroad, under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, all regions and departments implemented the decisions and arrangements made by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, adhered to the general working guideline of making progress while maintaining stability, insisted on the new development philosophy, continued to deepen the supply-side structural reform, strengthened the counter-cyclical adjustment, endeavored to maintain stability in areas like employment, financial sector, foreign trade, foreign investment, domestic investment and market expectation, and spared no effort to put the policies into effect. As a result, the national economy maintained overall stability, with optimized economic structure and improved living standard.

According to the preliminary estimation, the gross domestic product (GDP) of China was 69,779.8 billion yuan in the first three quarters, an increase of 6.2 percent at comparable prices year-on-year. Specifically, the growth of GDP was 6.4 percent for the first quarter, 6.2 percent for the second quarter, and 6.0 percent for the third quarter. The value added of the primary industry was 4,300.5 billion yuan, up by 2.9 percent; that of the secondary industry was 27,786.9 billion yuan, up by 5.6 percent; and that of the tertiary industry was 37,692.5 billion yuan, up by 7.0 percent.

1. Agricultural Production Enjoyed Sound Growth with Autumn Grain Expecting a Good Harvest.

The total output of summer grain and early rice totaled 168.01 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 606,000 tons. The autumn grain grew well and is expected to have another good harvest. The total grain output in 2019 is expected to maintain above 650 million tons and achieve increase in production. In the first three quarters, the value-added of crop farming grew by 4.3 percent year-on-year. The planting structure was further optimized. The sown area of quality rice and soybean increased, while that of corn decreased. In the first three quarters, the output of eggs grew by 5.5 percent year-on-year and that of milk grew by 2.5 percent. The total output of pork, beef, mutton and poultry was 55.08 million tons, down by 8.3 percent year-on-year. Specifically, the output of poultry, beef and mutton was 15.39 million tons, 4.58 million tons, and 3.30 million tons respectively, up by 10.2 percent, 3.2 percent and 2.3 percent respectively. The output of pork was 31.81 million tons, down by 17.2 percent.

2. Industrial Production Sustained Growth with the Proportion of High-tech Manufacturing Went up.

The total value added of the industrial enterprises above the designated size grew by 5.6 percent year-on-year in the first three quarters. An analysis by types of ownership showed that the value added of the state holding enterprises was up by 4.7 percent year-on-year; that of share-holding enterprises up by 6.9 percent; and that of enterprises funded by foreign investors or investors from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan up by 1.4 percent. In terms of sectors, the value added of the mining grew by 4.6 percent year-on-year, the manufacturing increased by 5.9 percent and the production and supply of electricity, thermal power, gas and water increased by 7.0 percent. The value added of strategic emerging industries grew by 8.4 percent year-on-year, 2.8 percentage points higher than that of the industrial enterprises above the designated size. The value added of high-tech manufacturing grew by 8.7 percent year-on-year, 3.1 percentage points higher than that of the industrial enterprises above the designated size, accounting for 14.1 percent of that of the industrial enterprises above the designated size, 0.3 percentage point higher than the first half of 2019. The output of solar cells and new energy automobiles grew by 25.1 percent and 21.4 percent year-on-year respectively. In September, the total value added of the industrial enterprises above designated size was up by 5.8 percent year-on-year, 1.4 percentage points higher than that of August, or up by 0.72 percent month-on-month.

In the first eight months, the profits made by industrial enterprises above the designated size stood at 4,016.4 billion yuan, down by 1.7 percent year-on-year, the same as that of the first seven months. The profit rate of the business revenue of the industrial enterprises above the designated size was 5.87 percent, the same as that of the first seven months.

3. Service Sector Grew Fast with Modern Services Developed at a Good Momentum.

In the first three quarters, the service sector continued to maintain a good momentum. The value-added of information transmission, software and information technology services, leasing and business services, transport, storage and postal services, and financial intermediation grew by 19.8 percent, 8.0 percent, 7.4 percent and 7.1 percent year-on-year respectively, 12.8 percentage points, 1.0 percentage point, 0.4 percentage point and 0.1 percentage point higher than that of the tertiary industry. The Index of Services Production increased by 7.0 percent year-on-year. Specifically, the Index of Services Production in September grew by 6.7 percent, 0.3 percentage point higher than that of August. In September, the business activity index for services stood at 53.0 percent, 0.5 percentage point higher than that in August. The business activities expectation index for services was 59.3 percent, staying at a high level.

In the first eight months, the business revenue of service enterprises above the designated size increased by 9.5 percent year-on-year, 0.1 percentage point lower than that in the first seven months. Specifically, the business revenue of strategic emerging services, high-tech services and technology services grew by 12.1 percent, 11.9 percent, and 11.6 percent year-on-year respectively, 2.6 percentage points, 2.4 percentage points, and 2.1 percentage points higher than that of the service enterprises above the designated size, maintaining fast growth.

4. Market Sales Witnessed Steady Growth and Upgraded Consumer Goods Grew Fast.

In the first three quarters, the total retail sales of consumer goods reached 29,667.4 billion yuan, a year-on-year rise of 8.2 percent. The retail sales of consumer goods excluding automobiles grew by 9.1 percent. Analyzed by different areas, the retail sales in urban areas reached 25,352.4 billion yuan, up by 8.0 percent year-on-year; the retail sales in rural areas stood at 4,315.0 billion yuan, up by 9.0 percent. Grouped by consumption patterns, the income of catering industry was 3,256.5 billion yuan, up by 9.4 percent; and the retail sales of goods were 26,410.9 billion yuan, up by 8.0 percent. The sale of upgraded consumer goods witnessed fast growth. In the first three quarters, the retail sales of smart household appliances and audio-video equipments as well as wearable smart devices by enterprises above the designated size grew by 41.6 percent and 11.1 percent year-on-year respectively. In the first three quarters, the national per capita consumption expenditure of households was 15,464 yuan, a year-on-year growth of 8.3 percent. Specifically, the per capita consumption expenditure on services grew by 10.2 percent, 1.9 percentage points higher than that of the per capita consumption expenditure. In September, the total retail sales of consumer goods reached 3,449.5 billion yuan, a year-on-year rise of 7.8 percent, 0.3 percentage point higher than that of August.

In the first three quarters, the online retail sales reached 7,323.7 billion yuan, a year-on-year growth of 16.8 percent. Specifically, the online retail sales of physical goods were 5,777.7 billion yuan, an increase of 20.5 percent, accounting for 19.5 percent of the total retail sales of consumer goods.

5. Investment Maintained Stable Growth and the Investment in High-tech Industries Grew Fast.

In the first three quarters, the investment in fixed assets (excluding rural households) was 46,120.4 billion yuan, a year-on-year growth of 5.4 percent. Specifically, the private investment reached 26,480.5 billion yuan, up by 4.7 percent. The investment in the primary industry dropped by 2.1 percent; the secondary industry up by 2.0 percent, of which, that in manufacturing up by 2.5 percent; and the tertiary industry up by 7.2 percent, of which, that in infrastructure grew by 4.5 percent. The investment in high-tech manufacturing grew by 12.6 percent year-on-year, 7.2 percentage points higher than that of the total investment; the investment in high-tech services grew by 13.8 percent, 8.4 percentage points higher than that of the total investment.

In the first three quarters, the total investment in real estate development was 9,800.8 billion yuan, a year-on-year growth of 10.5 percent. The floor space of commercial buildings sold was 1,191.79 million square meters, down by 0.1 percent year-on-year. The total sales of commercial buildings were 11,149.1 billion yuan, up by 7.1 percent.

6. Imports and Exports Scaled up and the Trade Structure Continued to Optimize.

The total value of imports and exports of goods in the first three quarters was 22,914.5 billion yuan, an increase of 2.8 percent year-on-year. Specifically, the total value of exports was 12,480.3 billion yuan, up by 5.2 percent; the total value of imports was 10,434.2 billion yuan, down by 0.1 percent. The trade balance was 2,046.2 billion yuan in surplus, a year-on-year growth of 44.2 percent. The trade structure was further optimized. The import and export of general trade grew by 4.8 percent, accounting for 59.5 percent of the total value of imports and exports, 1.1 percentage points higher than that of the same period last year; the export of mechanical and electrical products grew by 4.7 percent, accounting for 58.1 percent of the total export value. The import and export by private enterprises grew by 10.4 percent, accounting for 42.3 percent of the total value of imports and exports, 2.9 percentage points higher than that of the same period last year. In September, the total value of imports and exports was 2,782.6 billion yuan, down by 3.3 percent year-on-year. Of this total, the value of exports was 1,528.9 billion yuan, down by 0.7 percent; and that of imports was 1,253.7 billion yuan, down by 6.2 percent. In the first three quarters, the export delivery value of the industrial enterprises above the designated size reached 9,091.3 billion yuan, up by 2.4 percent year-on-year.

7. The Growth of Consumer Price Increased and the Producer Prices for Industrial Products Maintained the Same Level Year-on-Year.

In the first three quarters, the consumer price went up by 2.5 percent year-on-year. Specifically, the price went up by 2.4 percent in the urban areas and 2.6 percent in the rural areas. Grouped by commodity categories, prices for food, tobacco and alcohol were up by 5.1 percent year-on-year; clothing up by 1.8 percent; housing up by 1.7 percent; articles and services for daily use up by 1.0 percent; transportation and communication down by 1.5 percent; education, culture and recreation up by 2.4 percent; medical services and healthcare up by 2.5 percent; other articles and services up by 3.0 percent. In terms of food, tobacco and alcohol prices, prices for grain went up by 0.5 percent, pork up by 21.3 percent, fresh vegetables up by 5.1 percent. Core CPI excluding the price of food and energy went up by 1.7 percent, 0.1 percentage point lower than that of the first half of 2019. In September, the consumer price went up by 3.0 percent year-on-year, 0.2 percentage point higher than that of last month or up by 0.9 percent month-on-month.

The producer prices for industrial products in the first three quarters remained the same level year-on-year. The producer prices for industrial products in September went down by 1.2 percent year-on-year, or up by 0.1 percent month-on-month. In the first three quarters, the purchasing prices for industrial producers dropped by 0.3 percent year-on-year. In September, the purchasing prices for industrial producers went down by 1.7 percent year-on-year or up by 0.2 percent month-on-month.

8. Employment was Generally Stable and Rural Migrant Workers Increased.

In the first three quarters, the newly increased employed people in urban areas totaled 10.97 million, accounting for 99.7 percent of the whole-year target. In September, the surveyed unemployment rate in urban areas was 5.2 percent, the same as that of the last month. Specifically, the surveyed unemployment rate of population aged from 25 to 59 was 4.6 percent, 0.6 percentage point lower than that of the surveyed unemployment rate in urban areas. The urban surveyed unemployment rate in 31 major cities was 5.2 percent, the same as that of last month. In September, the employees of enterprises worked averagely 46.7 hours per week. At the end of the third quarter, the number of rural migrant workers reached 183.36 million, 2.01 million more than that of the same period last year, up by 1.1 percent.

9. Residents Income Rose Basically in Step with Economic Growth and the Income Growth of Rural Residents Outpaced that of Urban Residents.

In the first three quarters, the nationwide per capita disposable income was 22,882 yuan, a nominal growth of 8.8 percent year-on-year, or a real growth of 6.1 percent after deducting price factors, basically in step with economic growth. In terms of permanent residence, the per capita disposable income of urban households was 31,939 yuan, a real growth of 5.4 percent. The per capita disposable income of rural households was 11,622 yuan, a growth of 6.4 percent in real terms. The per capita disposable income of the urban households was 2.75 times of that of the rural households, 0.03 less than that of the same period last year. The median of the nationwide per capita disposable income was 19,882 yuan, a nominal increase of 9.0 percent year-on-year.

10. Key Reform Scored Solid Progress and Economic Structure Experienced Adjustment and Optimization.

The supply-side structural reform continued to deepen. In the third quarter, the industrial capacity utilization rate nationwide reached 76.4 percent, the same as that of the second quarter. Specifically, the capacity utilization rates of both the manufacture of computers, communication and other electronic equipments and the manufacture of raw chemical materials and chemical products were 1.1 percentage points higher than that in the second quarter. By the end of September, the floor space of commercial buildings for sale was 493.46 million square meters, 4.38 million square meters less than that at the end of last month, down by 7.2 percent compared with the same period last year. The asset-liability ratio of industrial enterprises above the designated size at the end of August stood at 56.8 percent, 0.5 percentage point lower than that in the same period last year. In the first three quarters, the investment in weak areas like the ecological protection and treatment of environment pollution and education grew by 40.0 percent and 18.5 percent year-on-year respectively, 34.6 percentage points and 13.1 percentage points higher than that of overall investment.

Solid efforts were made to advance the “three critical battles” of preventing and defusing financial risks, conducting targeted poverty eradication and controlling pollution. At the end of August, the balance of local governments debt stood at 21,413.9 billion yuan, which was within the limit approved by the National People’s Congress. Efforts on targeted poverty eradication were enhanced and more effects were delivered, with the per capita disposable income for rural households in impoverished areas maintained fast growth. The work of pollution prevention and control was continuously advanced. According to preliminary estimation, the share of consumption of clean energy such as natural gas, hydropower, nuclear power and wind power in total energy consumption in the first three quarters was 1.2 percentage points higher than that of the same period last year. The energy consumption per unit GDP went down by 2.7 percent year-on-year.

The economic structure was optimized. In the first three quarters, the value added of the tertiary industry accounted for 54.0 percent of GDP, 0.6 percentage point higher than that of the same period last year, 14.2 percentage points higher than that of the secondary industry, contributing 60.6 percent to GDP growth, 24.3 percentage points higher than that of the secondary industry. Of industrial enterprises above the designated size, the strategic emerging industries and high-tech industries maintained fast growth. The final consumption expenditure’s contribution to the GDP growth was 60.5 percent. Service consumption took up 50.6 percent of households final consumption expenditure, 0.7 percentage point higher than that of the same period last year. Steady progress was recorded in implementing major regional development strategies and a new pattern of coordinated and integrated regional development is taking shape.

Generally speaking, the national economy maintained overall stability in the first three quarters. However, we must be aware that given the complicated and severe economic conditions both at home and abroad, the slowing global economic growth, and increasing external instabilities and uncertainties, the economy is under mounting downward pressure. In the next stage, under the guidance of the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, we should heighten the sense of urgency and responsibility, focus on running our own affairs well, take development as the top priority, and place stable growth and reasonable range of economic development at a more prominent position. We should seek impetus from reform and opening up as well as innovation, tap the potential by expanding domestic market demands, foster new effective investment and consumer demands to improve living standards, boost the resilience of development, withstand the downward pressure, and take coordinated steps to achieve steady growth, advance reform, make structural adjustments, improve living standards, guard against risks and maintain stability, so as to facilitate sustained and sound economic development.

Notes:

1. The growth rates of gross domestic product, value added of the 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. According to the auto-revision function of the seasonal adjustment model, revisions were made to quarter-on-quarter growth of GDP and to month-on-month changes of the value added of industrial enterprises above designated size, the investment in fixed assets (excluding rural households), and the total retail sales of consumer goods. The revised figures, quarter-on-quarter GDP growth estimates for the first three quarters of 2019 and month-on-month changes of other indicators for September 2019 are as follows:

The quarter-on-quarter growth of GDP in 2018 and the first three quarters of 2019 were 1.5 percent, 1.7 percent, 1.6 percent, 1.5 percent and 1.4 percent, 1.6 percent and 1.5 percent respectively.

3. Industrial enterprises above the designated size are industrial enterprises with annual revenue from principal business over 20 million yuan. As the number of industrial enterprises above the designated size changes 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 Index of Services Production is the change of production in the reporting period compared to the base period with the price factors deducted.

5. The scope of the total retail sales of consumer goods includes 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. 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.

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

7. Data of import and export are from the General Administration of Customs, PRC; data of newly increased employed people in urban areas are from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, PRC.

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

9. The median of the nationwide per capita disposable income of residents refers to the per capita disposable income of households which lies in the middle of all surveyed households ranked from low to high on the basis of per capita disposable income level.

10. Due to the round-off reasons, the subentries may not add up to the aggregate totals.

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