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National economy recovered steadily in 2020 with main goals accomplished better than expectation

Updated: Jan 18,2021 11:22 AM    www.stats.gov.cn

National Bureau of Statistics of China

Jan 18, 2021

In 2020, faced with grave and complex environment both at home and abroad and the huge impact of the epidemic in particular, under the strong leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, all regions and departments adhered to the general working guideline of making progress while maintaining stability, coordinated the work of epidemic prevention and control and economic and social development, took solid steps to stabilize employment, finance, foreign trade, foreign investment, domestic investment and market expectations (six areas), and fully safeguard residential employment, people's livelihood, market entities, food and energy security, stability of industrial and supply chains and operations at grassroots levels (six fronts). As a result, the national economy recovered steadily, employment and living standards were ensured forcefully, and the main goals and tasks of economic and social development were accomplished better than expectation.

According to preliminary estimates, the gross domestic product (GDP) was 101,598.6 billion yuan in 2020, an increase of 2.3 percent over last year at comparable prices. The year-on-year GDP for the first quarter went down by 6.8 percent, up by 3.2 percent for the second quarter, 4.9 percent for the third quarter and 6.5 percent for the fourth quarter. By industries, the value added of the primary industry was 7,775.4 billion yuan, up by 3.0 percent, that of the secondary industry was 38,425.5 billion yuan, up by 2.6 percent and that of the tertiary industry was 55,397.7 billion yuan, up by 2.1 percent.

1. The Grain Output Reached Another High and Production of Pigs Sustained a Fast Recovery.

The total output of grain in 2020 was 669.49 million tons, up by 0.9 percent over last year, or an increase of 5.65 million tons. Of this total, the output of summer grain was 142.86 million tons, up by 0.9 percent, and that of early rice was 27.29 million tons, up by 3.9 percent. The output of autumn grain reached 499.34 million tons, up by 0.7 percent. By species, the output of rice was 211.86 million tons, up by 1.1 percent; wheat, 134.25 million tons, up by 0.5 percent; corn, 260.67 million tons, almost the same as that of last year with a slight decline; soybean, 19.60 million tons, up by 8.3 percent. The total output of pork, beef, mutton and poultry in 2020 was 76.39 million tons, down by 0.1 percent over last year. Of this total, the output of beef was 6.72 million tons, up by 0.8 percent; mutton, 4.92 million tons, up by 1.0 percent; poultry, 23.61 million tons, up by 5.5 percent; eggs, 34.68 million tons, up by 4.8 percent; milk, 34.40 million tons, up by 7.5 percent, and pork, 41.13 million tons, down by 3.3 percent. At the end of 2020, pigs and breeding sows registered in stock were up by 31.0 percent and 35.1 percent respectively over that at the end of 2019.

2. Industrial Production Continued to Grow and High-tech Manufacturing and Equipment Manufacturing Enjoyed Faster Growth.

The total value added of industrial enterprises above the designated size increased by 2.8 percent over last year. In terms of ownership, the value added of the state holding enterprises grew by 2.2 percent, that of the share-holding enterprises up by 3.0 percent, that of the enterprises funded by foreign investors and investors from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan up by 2.4 percent and that of private enterprises up by 3.7 percent. In terms of sectors, the value added of mining was up by 0.5 percent, that of manufacturing up by 3.4 percent and that of production and supply of electricity, thermal power, gas and water up by 2.0 percent. The value added of the high-tech manufacturing and equipment manufacturing went up by 7.1 percent and 6.6 percent respectively over last year, or 4.3 percentage points and 3.8 percentage points higher than that of the industrial enterprises above the designated size. Specifically, the production of industrial robots, new energy vehicles, integrated circuits and micro computer equipment grew by 19.1 percent, 17.3 percent, 16.2 percent and 12.7 percent year on year respectively. In the fourth quarter, the total value added of the industrial enterprises above the designated size grew by 7.1 percent year on year, 1.3 percentage points higher than that in the third quarter. In December, the total value added of the industrial enterprises above the designated size grew by 7.3 percent year on year, 0.3 percentage point higher than that in November, and an increase of 1.10 percent month on month. In 2020, the national industrial capacity utilization rate reached 74.5 percent. In the fourth quarter, the national industrial capacity utilization rate reached 78.0 percent, 1.3 percentage points higher than that in the third quarter.

In the first eleven months, the profits made by industrial enterprises above the designated size were 5,744.5 billion yuan, up by 2.4 percent year on year, 1.7 percentage points higher than that in the first ten months. Specifically, the total profits made by industrial enterprises above the designated size in November went up by 15.5 percent year on year, maintaining a double-digit growth for the sixth consecutive month.

3. Service Sector Recovered Gradually and Modern Service Industries Demonstrated Favorable Momentum.

In 2020, the Index of Services Production was the same as that of last year. The value added of the information transmission, software and information technology services and that of financial services grew by 16.9 percent and 7.0 percent year on year respectively, 14.8 percentage points and 4.9 percentage points higher than that of the tertiary industry. The Index of Services Production grew by 7.7 percent year on year in the fourth quarter, 3.4 percentage points higher than that in the third quarter. In December, the Index of Services Production grew by 7.7 percent year on year. In the first eleven months, business revenue of service enterprises above the designated size grew by 1.6 percent year on year, of which that of information transmission, software and information technology services and that of scientific research and technology services grew by 13.5 percent and 9.9 percent respectively, 11.9 percentage points and 8.3 percentage points higher than that of service enterprises above the designated size.

In December, the Business Activity Index for services was 54.8 percent, staying above the expansion range. Specifically, the Business Activity Index for sectors like air transportation, telecommunication, broadcast, television and satellite transmission services, monetary and financial services and capital market services continued to stay within the high expansion range at 60.0 percent and above. From the perspective of market expectation, the Business Activity Expectation Index for services was 60.1 percent, staying within the high expansion range for six months in a row.

4. Market Sales Recovered Fast and Upgraded Consumer Goods Witnessed Accelerated Growth.

In 2020, the total retail sales of consumer goods reached 39,198.1 billion yuan, down by 3.9 percent over last year. Specifically, the total retail sales of commodities by enterprises above the designated size reached 14,332.3 billion yuan, down by 1.9 percent. Analyzed by different areas, the retail sales in urban areas reached 33,911.9 billion yuan, down by 4.0 percent; and the retail sales in rural areas stood at 5,286.2 billion yuan, down by 3.2 percent. Grouped by consumption patterns, the income of catering was 3,952.7 billion yuan, down by 16.6 percent; and the retail sales of goods were 35,245.3 billion yuan, down by 2.3 percent. The sales growth of upgraded consumer goods accelerated. In the fourth quarter, the retail sales of communication equipment, cosmetics, gold, silver and jewelry by enterprises above the designated size grew by 26.0 percent, 21.2 percent and 17.3 percent respectively, or 16.0 percentage points, 7.1 percentage points and 5.0 percentage points higher than that in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, the total retail sales of consumer goods grew by 4.6 percent year on year, 3.7 percentage points higher than that in the third quarter. In December, the total retail sales of consumer goods grew by 4.6 percent year on year, or 1.24 percent month on month. In 2020, the national online retail sales reached 11,760.1 billion yuan, grew by 10.9 percent year on year. Specifically, the online retail sales of physical goods were 9,759.0 billion yuan, up by 14.8 percent, accounting for 24.9 percent of the total retail sales of consumer goods, or 4.2 percentage points higher than that of last year.

5. Investment in Fixed Assets Rebounded Steadily and Investment in High-tech Industries and Social Sector Grew Fast.

In 2020, the investment in fixed assets (excluding rural households) reached 51,890.7 billion yuan, up by 2.9 percent over that of last year. Specifically, the investment in infrastructure was up by 0.9 percent, manufacturing down by 2.2 percent and real estate development up by 7.0 percent. The floor space of commercial buildings sold reached 1,760.86 million square meters, up by 2.6 percent. The total sales of commercial buildings were 17,361.3 billion yuan, up by 8.7 percent. The growth of investment in the three industries shifted to positive. Specifically, the investment in the primary industry went up by 19.5 percent; that in the secondary industry up by 0.1 percent; and that in the tertiary industry up by 3.6 percent. The private investment was 28,926.4 billion yuan, up by 1.0 percent. The investment in high-tech industries grew by 10.6 percent, 7.7 percentage points higher than the total investment, of which the investment in high-tech manufacturing and high-tech services grew by 11.5 percent and 9.1 percent respectively. In terms of high-tech manufacturing, the investment in pharmaceutical manufacturing and in computers and office devices grew by 28.4 percent and 22.4 percent respectively. In terms of high-tech services, the investment in e-commerce services and information services grew by 20.2 percent and 15.2 percent respectively. The investment in social sector went up by 11.9 percent, 9.0 percentage points higher than the total investment. Specifically, the investment in health industry and in education industry went up by 29.9 percent and 12.3 percent respectively. In December, the investment in fixed assets grew by 2.32 percent month on month.

6. Foreign Trade Achieved Positive Growth and Trade Structure Continued to Optimize.

In 2020, the total value of imports and exports of goods was 32,155.7 billion yuan, an increase of 1.9 percent over last year. The total value of exports was 17,932.6 billion yuan, up by 4.0 percent; the total value of imports was 14,223.1 billion yuan, down by 0.7 percent. The trade balance was 3,709.6 billion yuan in surplus. The exports of mechanical and electrical products grew by 6 percent, accounting for 59.4 percent of the total value of exports, 1.1 percentage points higher than that of last year. The imports and exports of general trade accounted for 59.9 percent of the total value of the imports and exports, an increase of 0.9 percentage point compared with last year. The imports and exports by private enterprises grew by 11.1 percent, accounting for 46.6 percent of the total value of the imports and exports, 3.9 percentage points higher than that of last year. In December, the total value of imports and exports of goods was 3,200.5 billion yuan, up by 5.9 percent year on year. Specifically, the total value of exports was 1,858.7 billion yuan, up by 10.9 percent; the total value of imports was 1,341.9 billion yuan, down by 0.2 percent. The trade balance was 516.8 billion yuan in surplus.

7. Growth of Consumer Price Slowed and Producer Prices for Industrial Products Dropped.

In 2020, the consumer price went up by 2.5 percent over last year, lower than the 2.9 percent growth of last year and also lower than the expected annual target of around 3.5 percent. Specifically, the price went up by 2.3 percent in urban areas and 3.0 percent in rural areas. Grouped by commodity categories, prices for food, tobacco and alcohol went up by 8.3 percent; clothing down by 0.2 percent; housing down by 0.4 percent; articles and services for daily use remained the same; transportation and communication down by 3.5 percent; education, culture and recreation up by 1.3 percent; medical services and health care up by 1.8 percent; and other articles and services up by 4.3 percent. In terms of food, tobacco and alcohol prices, prices for grain went up by 1.2 percent, fresh vegetables up by 7.1 percent and pork up by 49.7 percent. Core CPI excluding the prices of food and energy went up by 0.8 percent. In December, the consumer price went up by 0.2 percent year on year, and up by 0.7 percent month on month. In 2020, the producer prices for industrial products went down by 1.8 percent over last year and in December, it went down by 0.4 percent year on year and up by 1.1 percent month on month. The purchasing prices for industrial producers went down by 2.3 percent over last year, and in December, it maintained the same level year on year, or up by 1.5 percent month on month.

8. Employment Was Generally Stable and Surveyed Unemployment Rate in Urban Areas Lowered to the Level of Last Year.

In 2020, the newly increased employed people in urban areas totaled 11.86 million, which notably exceeded the expected goal of 9 million and achieved 131.8 percent of the whole year target. In December, the surveyed unemployment rate in urban areas was 5.2 percent, the same as that of last year. Specifically, the surveyed unemployment rate of major labor force aged from 25 to 59 was 4.7 percent, the same as that of last year. In 2020, the average annual surveyed unemployment rate in urban areas stood at 5.6 percent, lower than the expected target of around 6 percent. In December, the urban surveyed unemployment rate in 31 major cities was 5.1 percent. At the end of 2020, the registered unemployment rate in urban areas was 4.24 percent, lower than the expected target of around 5.5 percent. The number of rural migrant workers reached 285.60 million, 5.17 million less than that of last year or down by 1.8 percent. Specifically, local migrant workers totaled 116.01 million, down by 0.4 percent; outside migrant workers totaled 169.59 million, down by 2.7 percent. The average monthly income of migrant workers was 4,072 yuan, up by 2.8 percent over last year.

9. Resident Income Grew at the Same Pace as the Economy and Urban-Rural Per Capita Income Ratio Continued to Narrow Down.

In 2020, the nationwide per capita disposable income of residents was 32,189 yuan, a nominal increase of 4.7 percent over that of last year, and a real increase of 2.1 percent after deducting price factors, which was generally at the same pace as the growth of economy. In terms of permanent residence, the per capita disposable income of urban households was 43,834 yuan, a nominal growth of 3.5 percent and a real growth of 1.2 percent after deducting the price factors. The per capita disposable income of rural households was 17,131 yuan, a nominal growth of 6.9 percent and a real growth of 3.8 percent after deducting price factors. The per capita disposable income of urban households was 2.56 times that of the rural households, 0.08 less than the ratio of last year. The median of the nationwide per capita disposable income was 27,540 yuan, a nominal increase of 3.8 percent over that of last year. Taking the per capita disposable income of nationwide households by income quintile, that of the low-income group reached 7,869 yuan, the lower-middle-income group 16,443 yuan, the middle-income group 26,249 yuan, the upper-middle-income group 41,172 yuan, and the high-income group 80,294 yuan.

In 2020, the nationwide per capita consumption expenditure was 21,210 yuan, a nominal decline of 1.6 percent, or a real decline of 4.0 percent after deducting price factors. Specifically, the per capita consumption expenditure of urban households was 27,007 yuan, a nominal decline of 3.8 percent; the per capita consumption expenditure of rural households was 13,713 yuan, a nominal growth of 2.9 percent.

Generally speaking, the national economy in 2020 recovered steadily, notable results was achieved in stabilizing employment and ensuring people's basic needs, a decisive success was made in the eradication of extreme poverty, the 13th Five-Year Plan came to a satisfactory conclusion and the task of building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects will soon be completed. However, the changing epidemic dynamics and external environment pose a multitude of uncertainties and the foundation for economic recovery is yet to be consolidated. At the next stage, we must take Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as the guideline, implement the decisions of the Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the CPC and the Central Economic Work Conference, adhere to the general working tone of making progress while maintaining stability, base ourselves on the new development phase, stick to the new development philosophy, foster a new development pattern, unswervingly deepen reform and opening up and innovation, consolidate and proliferate the gains made in epidemic prevention and control as well as economic and social development, take solid steps to ensure stability on six areas, fully carry out tasks to maintain security in six fronts, implement macro policies in a scientific and precise manner so as to keep the economy performing within a reasonable range and to ensure a good start of the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025) .

Notes:

1. The growth rates of gross domestic product, 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. 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, investment in fixed assets (excluding rural households), and total retail sales of consumer goods. The revised figures, quarter-on-quarter GDP growth for the fourth quarter of 2020 and month-on-month changes of other indicators for December 2020 are as follows:

The quarter-on-quarter growth of GDP in 2019 and 2020 were 2.0 percent, 1.2 percent, 1.2 percent, 1.2 percent, -9.7 percent, 11.6 percent, 3.0 percent and 2.6 percent respectively.

Month-on-Month Changes in 2020

 

 

Value Added of Industrial Enterprises above Designated Size

(%)

Investment in Fixed  Assets (Excluding Rural Households)

(%)

Total Retail Sales of Consumer Goods

(%)

 

 

 

 

January

-2.32

-5.85

-10.77

February

-24.01

-23.12

0.95

March

30.11

4.93

0.96

April

1.89

4.83

0.99

May

1.39

4.20

0.92

June

1.37

4.09

1.50

July

0.90

3.71

0.60

August

1.08

3.25

1.40

September

1.09

3.07

4.11

October

0.79

2.84

0.82

November

1.03

2.67

1.55

December

1.10

2.32

1.24

 

 

 

 

3. Industrial enterprises above the designated size are industrial enterprises with annual revenue from principle 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.

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 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 reason is that 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, 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.

The total retail sales of consumer goods in 2019 are revised according to the fourth national economic census, and the monthly growth rates of 2020 are calculated on a comparable basis.

6. The data of investment in fixed assets of the same period last year are revised according to the results of the fourth national economic census and statistical law enforcement as well as the regulations of statistical programmes. The growth rates are calculated on a comparable basis.

7. Migrant workers refer to those who work in urban areas, or in the non-agriculture sectors in local or other areas for 6 months and above with their permanent household registrations being in rural areas. Local migrant workers refer to those who work in the administration area where they register their households permanently. Outside migrant workers refer to those who work in areas other than the administration area where they register their households permanently.

8. 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.

The per capita disposable income of nationwide households by income quintile refers to the five equal partitions of all surveyed households, who are ranked from low to high based on per capita income level. The top 20 percent with the highest income are classified as high-income group, and the other four levels are upper-middle-income group, middle-income group, lower-middle-income group and low-income group.

9. Data of imports and exports are from the General Administration of Customs. Data of newly increased employed people in urban areas and urban registered unemployment rate are from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

10. Due to the round-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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