China’s economy remains stable in April

Updated: May 17, 2019 cgtn.com Print

Latest official stats suggest the Chinese economy is on a steady growth within proper range in April, as the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) briefed on May 15.

Steady industrial development

Growth in China’s industrial output settled at 5.4 percent in April as compared to 8.5 percent in the previous month, pointing to overall steadiness in the world’s second-biggest economy fighting against Washington’s hefty tariffs, NBS said in a statement.

In the first four months of 2019, the year-on-year growth rate of industrial output came in at 6.2 percent, in line with a full-year average reading of 2018.

The production and supply of electricity, thermal power, gas, and water went up 9.5 percent year-on-year in April, while output growth of the mining sector climbed by 2.9 percent, a slight fall of 1.7 percent from March.

Ownership analysis indicated that in the same month, industrial output of state-holding enterprises and share-holding firms went up six percent and 6.3 percent, respectively, compared with a 5.1 percent gain in that of enterprises funded by private investors.

Industrial output, officially called industrial value added, is used to measure the activity of designated large enterprises with an annual turnover of at least 20 million yuan (about $2.9 million).

Robust growth of online retail sales

China’s online retail sales maintained robust growth over the preceding four months, growing by 17.8 percent from one year earlier at 3.04 trillion yuan ($442.79 billion), with physical commodity sales surging 22.2 percent and accounting for 18.6 percent of the total online sales, according to NBS on May 15.

Data also showed consumption in rural areas climbed 7.8 percent last month, outpacing a rise of 7.1 percent in urban regions and the catering industry reported an 8.5-percent year-on-year increase in revenue.

The retail sales of consumer goods in the first four months saw an eight percent year-on-year increase in April, reaching 12.84 trillion yuan.

The investment in the first four months remained stable as real estate and fixed-asset (excluding rural household) investment expanded 11.9 and 6.1 percent compared from the same period a year earlier respectively, with the investment in high-tech manufacturing rose by 11.4 percent year-on-year, 5.3 percentage points higher than that of the total investment.

The total value of imports and exports saw continued growth in April at 2.51 trillion yuan, 2.7 percentage points lower than that of the previous month and 6.5 percent higher than that of last year, respectively.

A vibrant economy of China

Some growth figures were seen slightly down compared with those in March, especially the industrial growth which dropped some 3.1 percent point.

NBS spokesperson Liu Aihua explained that’s partly because of China’ largest value-added tax cuts starting April. Manufacturing and high-tech industries are expected to benefit most from that.

At the same time, the Chinese economy is growing more vibrant. Data suggests private sectors are gaining more vigor in the first four months with the productivity largely improved.

When talking about whether the escalation of China-US trade frictions and the additional tariffs could impact the Chinese economy, the spokesperson noted the overall growth would not change as the country is more capable to resist external risks. This is due to the better resilience, great vigor and immense potential of the Chinese economy.

China is at the current stage ramping up assistance for the economy via a mixed bag of stimulus policies as uncertainties still loom over global economy, as a result of which the country’s GDP growth stood firm at 6.4 percent in Q1, level with that of Q4 2018 and within the annual government target of 6-6.5 percent.

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