25.Mar .2021 20:00

Chinese Economy Maintained the Momentum of Recovery in the First Two Months

Chinese Economy Maintained the Momentum of Recovery in the First Two Months
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In the first two months of 2021, the efforts made by all Chinese regions and departments to coordinate both the epidemic prevention and control and the economic and social development continued to deliver results, the industry and exports grew fast, investment and consumption recovered steadily, employment and prices were generally stable, people’s basic livelihoods were safeguarded and the national economy sustained steady recovery.
 
“Compared with the same period last year, the year-on-year growth rates of major indicators were high due to a low base of the same period in 2020. After deducting the base effects, major indicators grew steadily and macroeconomic indicators were within reasonable range,” reads the recent report of the National Bureau of Statistics of China.

Growth of Industrial Production Accelerated with a Good Momentum of Growth of Equipment Manufacturing and High-tech Manufacturing

In Jan-Feb, the total value added of the industrial enterprises above the designated size grew by 35.1 percent year on year and by 16.9 percent compared with the first two months of 2019, an average two-year growth of 8.1 percent, which was high compared with that of the same period in recent years.
 
An analysis by types of ownership showed that, the value added of the state holding enterprises grew by 23.0 percent year on year; that of share-holding enterprises up by 34.2 percent; that of enterprises funded by foreign investors or investors from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan up by 41.4 percent; and that of private enterprises up by 43.8 percent. In terms of sector, the value added of mining grew by 17.5 percent year on year, with the average two-year growth up by 4.8 percent; manufacturing up by 39.5 percent with the average two-year growth up by 8.4 percent; the production and supply of electricity, heat power, gas and water up by 19.8 percent with the average two-year growth up by 5.5 percent. The value added of equipment manufacturing and high-tech manufacturing grew by 59.9 percent and 49.2 percent year on year, or an average two-year growth of 10.2 percent and 13.0 percent respectively.
 
In terms of the output of products, the year-on-year growth of new energy vehicles, trucks, industrial robots, excavators and shoveling machinery, and micro computer equipment all exceeded 100 percent with the average two-year growth over 10 percent. In February, the total value added of the industrial enterprises above the designated size went up by 0.69 percent month on month. In February, the Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index stood at 50.6 percent, staying above the threshold for twelve consecutive months. The Production and Operation Expectation Index rose to 59.2 percent, 1.3 percentage points higher than that of the previous month.
 
Service Sector Witnessed Gradual Recovery with the Business Activity Index for Services Staying within the Expansion Range
 
In the first two months, the Index of Services Production increased by 31.1 percent year on year and 14.1 percent compared with the first two months in 2019, an average two-year growth of 6.8 percent. The real estate and the information transmission, software and information technology services grew by 51.4 percent and 26.1 percent year on year respectively with the average two-year growth reaching 11.8 percent and 14.4 percent. In February, the Business Activity Index for services was 50.8 percent, staying above the threshold for twelve consecutive months.
 
In terms of sectors, the Business Activity Index for retail sales, catering and recreation that were closely related to household consumption all stayed within the expansion range and were higher than that of the previous month. In terms of market expectation, the Business Activities Expectation Index for services was 63.2 percent, 7.9 percentage points higher than that of the previous month.

Market Sales Continued to Grow and Sales of Upgraded Consumer Goods Grew Fast
 
The total retail sales of consumer goods in the first two months, reached 6,973.7 billion yuan, up by 33.8 percent year on year and by 6.4 percent compared with the first two months of 2019, an average two-year growth of 3.2 percent. Analyzed by different areas, the retail sales in urban areas reached 6,055.2 billion yuan, up by 34.9 percent year on year, an average two-year growth of 3.4 percent; the retail sales in rural areas reached 918.5 billion yuan, up by 26.7 percent, an average two-year growth of 1.3 percent.

Grouped by consumption, the income of catering was 708.5 billion yuan, up by 68.9 percent year on year, an average two-year decrease of 2.0 percent; and the retail sales of goods were 6,265.1 billion yuan, up by 30.7 percent, an average two-year growth of 3.8 percent. The sales of most consumer goods grew well with upgraded consumer goods experiencing fast growth. In the first two months, for retail sales of commodities by enterprises above the designated size, the growth rate of 18 categories exceeded 10 percent, and the retail sales of telecommunication equipment, sports and recreational articles grew by 53.1 percent and 45.6 percent year on year respectively with the average two-year growths of both reaching 18.2 percent.
 
The online retail sales continued to grow. In the first two months, the online retail sales reached 1,758.7 billion yuan, a year-on-year growth of 32.5 percent. Specifically, the online retail sales of physical goods were 1,441.2 billion yuan, up by 30.6 percent, accounting for 20.7 percent of the total retail sales of consumer goods. In February, the total retail sales of consumer goods grew by 0.56 percent month on month.

Investment in Fixed Assets Grew Steadily and Investment in High-tech Industries and Social Sector Grew Fast
 
The investment in fixed assets (excluding rural households) during Jan-Feb reached 4,523.6 billion yuan, up by 35.0 percent year on year and by 3.5 percent compared with the first two months in 2019, with the average two-year growth of 1.7 percent. Specifically, the investment in infrastructure grew by 36.6 percent, an average two-year decrease of 1.6 percent; the investment in manufacturing grew by 37.3 percent, an average two-year decrease of 3.4 percent; the investment in real estate development grew by 38.3 percent, an average two-year growth of 7.6 percent.

The floor space of commercial buildings sold reached 173.63 million square meters, up by 104.9 percent year on year with the average two-year growth of 11.0 percent; and the total sales of commercial buildings were 1,915.1 billion yuan, up by 133.4 percent with the average two-year growth of 22.3 percent. By industry, the investment in the primary industry went up by 61.3 percent year on year, an average two-year growth of 15.8 percent; the secondary industry up by 34.1 percent, an average two-year decrease of 1.8 percent; the tertiary industry up by 34.6 percent, an average two-year growth of 2.8 percent. The private investment went up by 36.4 percent, an average two-year growth of 1.4 percent.

The investment in high-tech industry grew by 50.1 percent year on year, of which the investment in high-tech manufacturing and high-tech services grew by 50.3 percent and 49.8 percent respectively. In terms of high-tech manufacturing, the investment in manufacturing of computers and office equipment and in manufacturing of medical equipment, measuring instrument and equipment grew by 99.5 percent and 66.6 percent.
 
In terms of high-tech services, the investment in e-commerce services and research, development and design services went up by 88.4 percent and 85.3 percent respectively. The investment in social sectors grew by 48.0 percent year on year. Specifically, the investment in health sector and education sector grew by 63.0 percent and 53.0 percent respectively. In February, the investment in fixed assets grew by 2.43 percent month on month.
 
Imports and Exports of Goods Witnessed Strong Momentum of Growth and Trade Structure Continued to Optimize

The total value of imports and exports of goods was 5,441.8 billion yuan in Jan-Feb 2021, up by 32.2 percent year on year. The value of exports was 3,058.8 billion yuan, up by 50.1 percent, and the value of imports was 2,383.0 billion yuan, up by 14.5 percent. The trade balance was 675.9 billion yuan in surplus.
 
The trade structure continued to optimize. In the first two months, the exports of mechanical and electrical products grew by 54.1 percent year on year, accounting for 60.3 percent of the total exports. The import and export of general trade accounted for 61.6 percent of the total value of the imports and exports, 1 percentage point higher than the same period of the previous year. The imports and exports by private enterprises accounted for 47.2 percent of the total imports and exports, 5.5 percentage points higher than the same period of the previous year.
 
Urban Surveyed Unemployment Rate Declined Year on Year and Employment was Generally Stable
 
During Jan-Feb, the newly increased employed people in urban areas totaled 1.48 million. In January, the urban surveyed unemployment rate was 5.4 percent. In February, the urban surveyed unemployment rate was 5.5 percent, 0.7 percentage points lower than that of the same period of the previous year. The surveyed unemployment rate of population with local household registration was 5.7 percent and that of population with non-local household registration was 5.2 percent. Specifically, the surveyed unemployment rate of the population aged from 16 to 24 was 13.1 percent, and that of the population aged from 25 to 59 was 5.0 percent. The urban surveyed unemployment rate in 31 major cities was 5.5 percent. The employees of enterprises worked 46.3 hours per week on average.
 
Consumer Price Went Down and Producer Prices for Industrial Products Went Up Year on Year

During the report period, the consumer price went down by 0.3 percent year on year. Grouped by commodity categories, prices for food, tobacco and alcohol went up by 0.9 percent year on year; clothing down by 0.3 percent; housing down by 0.3 percent; articles and services for daily use down by 0.1 percent; transport and communication down by 3.3 percent; education, culture and recreation up by 0.3 percent; medical services and health care up by 0.4 percent; and other articles and services down by 0.9 percent. Among the prices for food, tobacco and alcohol, the price for pork went down by 9.6 percent, grain up by 1.5 percent, fresh fruits up by 2.2 percent, and fresh vegetables up by 6.9 percent. In January and February, the consumer price went down by 0.3 percent and 0.2 percent year on year, up by 1.0 percent and 0.6 percent month on month respectively.

In the first two months, the producer prices for industrial products went up by 1.0 percent year on year. The producer prices for industrial products in January and February went up by 0.3 percent and 1.7 percent year on year, up by 1.0 percent and 0.8 percent month on month respectively. In the first two months, the purchasing prices for industrial producers increased by 1.6 percent year on year.
 
“Generally speaking, in the first two months, the economy kept the momentum of recovery and positive factors continued to accumulate,” concludes the report, adding “however, we must be aware that the COVID-19 epidemic is still rampaging globally and the world economy is facing severe challenges. At home, the unbalanced recovery is still notable and the foundation for the economic recovery is not yet solid.”