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SCIO briefing on China's economic performance in 2017

Updated: Jan 20, 2018 China.org.cn Print
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Speakers:

Ning Jizhe, head of the National Bureau of StatisticsXing Zhihong, spokesperson of National Bureau of Statistics, director general of Department of Comprehensive Statistics of the bureau

Chairperson:

Hu Kaihong, spokesperson of the State Council Information Office of China

Date:

Jan. 18, 2018

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Ning Jizhe (C), head of the National Bureau of Statistics, speaks at a press conference held by the State Council Information Office on China's economy in 2017 in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 18, 2018. [Photo/China SCIO]

Hu Kaihong:

Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. Welcome to this press conference. China's economic development has always drawn great public attention. Many people are keen to know how China's economy was last year. 

Today, we are delighted to invite Mr. Ning Jizhe, head of the National Bureau of Statistics, to introduce China's economic performance in 2017, and answer some of your questions. Also present at the conference is Mr. Xing Zhihong, spokesperson of the National Bureau of Statistics and director general of the Department of Comprehensive Statistics of the bureau.

Now, I'll give the floor to Mr. Ning.

Ning Jizhe:

Good afternoon. Now, I'll make a brief introduction of China's economic performance in 2017.

Last year, the national economy remained stable and saw a growth momentum beyond our expectations.

In 2017, under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its 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, adopted the new development philosophy, focused on supply-side structural reform, and pushed forward works in structural optimization, the shifting of driving forces and quality improvement. 

As a result, the national economy has maintained stable and sound momentum, which exceeded our expectations. Economic development has become more dynamic, with more driving forces for growth emerging and greater growth potentials shown. Economic development has become more stable, coordinated and sustainable. A stable and healthy economic development was achieved.

According to a preliminary estimation, the gross domestic product (GDP) of China was 82.7122 trillion yuan in 2017, an increase of 6.9 percent at constant price compared with last year. In terms of quarterly data, the year-on-year growth of GDP was 6.9 percent, 6.9 percent, 6.8 percent, and 6.8 percent for the four quarters respectively. The value added of the primary industry was 6.5468 trillion yuan, up by 3.9 percent over the previous year; that of the secondary industry was 33.4623 trillion yuan, up by 6.1 percent; and that of the tertiary industry was 42.7032 trillion yuan, up by 8.0 percent.

1. Agricultural production enjoyed another harvest, and the production of animal husbandry grew stably.

The total grain output in 2017 was 617.91 million tons, an increase of 1.66 million tons compared with last year, up by 0.3 percent. The total output of summer grain was 140.31 million tons, up by 0.8 percent; the total output of early rice was 31.74 million tons, down by 3.2 percent; the total output of autumn grain was 445.85 million tons, up by 0.4 percent. The total output of cotton was 5.49 million tons, up by 2.7 percent. 

The total output of pork, beef, mutton and poultry was 84.31 million tons, up by 0.8 percent over last year, among which the total output of pork was 53.4 million tons, up by 0.8 percent; the beef 7.26 million tons, up by 1.3 percent; the mutton 4.68 million tons, up by 1.8 percent; the poultry 18.97 million tons, up by 0.5 percent. There were 433.25 million live pigs, a year-on-year decrease of 0.4 percent, while 688.61 million pigs were slaughtered, a year-on-year increase of 0.5 percent.

2. Industrial production grew faster with rising profit for enterprises.

The real growth of the total value added of industrial enterprises above the designated size in 2017 was 6.6 percent, 0.6 percentage point faster than last year. 

An analysis by types of ownership showed that the value added of the state holding enterprises was up by 6.5 percent; that of the collective enterprises, up by 0.6 percent; share-holding enterprises, up by 6.6 percent; and enterprises funded by foreign investors or investors from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, up by 6.9 percent. 

In terms of sectors, the value added of the mining industry dropped by 1.5 percent, manufacturing increased by 7.2 percent, and the production and supply of electricity, thermal power, gas and water increased by 8.1 percent. The value added of the high-tech industry and equipment manufacturing increased by 13.4 percent and 11.3 percent year-on-year, 6.8 percentage points and 4.7 percentage points faster than that of the industries above the designated size. 

In 2017, the sales-output ratio of the industrial enterprises above the designated size reached 98.1 percent. The export delivery value of these enterprises reached 12.323 trillion yuan, up by 10.7 percent over last year. In December, the total value added of the industrial enterprises above the designated size was up by 6.2 percent year-on-year or up by 0.52 percent month-on-month.

From January to November, the profits made by industrial enterprises above the designated size stood at 6.875 trillion yuan, up by 21.9 percent year-on-year, 12.5 percentage points faster than the same period last year. The profit rate of the principal activities of the industrial enterprises above the designated size was 6.36 percent, up by 0.54 percentage point compared with the same period last year.

3. The service sector maintained fast growth, and business activity indexes maintained within the range of expansion.

In 2017, the Index of Services Production increased by 8.2 percent over last year, 0.1 percentage point faster than last year. In December, the Index of Services Production increased by 7.9 percent year-on-year, 0.1 percentage point faster than last month. 

From January to November, the business revenue of service enterprises above the designated size increased by 13.9 percent year-on-year, 2.5 percentage points faster than the same period last year; the operating profit of service enterprises above the designated size increased by 30.4 percent, 28.2 percentage points faster; the business revenue of strategic emerging services, producer services and science and technology services increased by 18.0 percent, 15.0 percent and 15.1 percent year-on-year respectively.

In December, the Business Activity Index for services was 53.4 percent. Specifically, the Business Activity Index kept within the expansion range of 57.0 percent and above in sectors like postal services, telecommunication, broadcasting, television and satellite transmission services, internet, software and information technology services, banking and insurance. 

From the perspective of market demand, the New Order Index for the service industry was 50.9 percent, remaining within the expansion range for eight months in a row. From the perspective of market expectations, the Business Activities Expectation Index was 60.3 percent, remaining within the expansion range for seven months in a row.

4. The investment structure continued to improve, and the floor space of commercial buildings for sale decreased.

In 2017, the investment in fixed assets (hereafter excluding rural households) was 63.1684 trillion yuan, growing by 7.2 percent over last year, 0.9 percentage point slower than last year. 

Specifically, the investment by the state holding enterprises reached 23.2887 trillion yuan, a rise of 10.1 percent; private investment reached 38.1510 trillion yuan, up by 6.0 percent, 2.8 percentage points faster than last year, accounting for 60.4 percent of the total investment. 

The investment in the primary industry was 2.0892 trillion yuan, up by 11.8 percent; the secondary industry 23.5751 trillion yuan, up by 3.2 percent, among which the investment in manufacturing was 19.3616 trillion yuan, an increase of 4.8 percent; and the tertiary industry 37.5040 trillion yuan, an increase of 9.5 percent. The investment in infrastructure was 14.0005 trillion yuan, up by 19.0 percent, 1.6 percentage points faster than last year. The investment in the high-tech industry and equipment manufacturing went up by 17.0 percent and 8.6 percent year-on-year, 2.8 percentage points and 4.2 percentage points faster; the investment in energy-intensive manufacturing decreased by 1.8 percent compared with last year. 

The funds in place for investment in fixed assets in 2017 were 62.9815 trillion yuan, up by 4.8 percent compared with last year. The planned total investment in newly-started projects was 51.9093 trillion yuan, up by 6.2 percent. The year-on-year growth of investment in fixed assets from January to December was the same as that from January to November. In December, the investment in fixed assets grew by 0.53 percent month-on-month.

The total investment in real estate development in 2017 was 10.9799 trillion yuan, an increase of 7.0 percent, 0.1 percentage point faster than last year, among which the investment in residential buildings went up by 9.4 percent. New housing construction soared 7.0 percent in terms of floor space, which totaled 1.78654 billion square meters. Specifically, new housing construction soared 10.5 percent in terms of the floor space of residential buildings. 

The floor space of commercial buildings sold was 1.69408 trillion square meters, up by 7.7 percent. Specifically, the floor space of residential buildings sold was up by 5.3 percent. The total sales of commercial buildings were 13.3701 trillion yuan, up by 13.7 percent, among which the sales of residential buildings were up by 11.3 percent. 

The land space purchased for real estate development was 255.08 million square meters, up by 15.8 percent. By the end of December, the floor space of commercial buildings for sale was 589.23 million square meters, down by 15.3 percent over the end of the previous year. The funds in place for real estate development enterprises reached 15.6053 trillion yuan, up by 8.2 percent.

5. Market sales witnessed steady and comparatively fast growth, and consumption upgrade showed remarkable momentum.

In 2017, the total retail sales of consumer goods reached 36.6262 trillion yuan, up by 10.2 percent, 0.2 percentage point slower than last year. Specifically, the retail sales of consumer goods by enterprises above the designated size stood at 16.0613 trillion yuan, up by 8.1 percent. 

Analyzed by different areas, the retail sales in urban areas reached 31.4290 trillion yuan, up by 10.0 percent; the retail sales in rural areas stood at 5.1972 trillion yuan, up by 11.8 percent. 

Grouped by consumption patterns, the income of the catering industry was 3.9644 trillion yuan, up by 10.7 percent; the retail sales of goods were 32.6618 trillion yuan, up by 10.2 percent. In particular, the retail sales of the enterprises above the designated size reached 15.0861 trillion yuan, up by 8.2 percent. 

The sales of upgraded consumer goods witnessed fast growth. Specifically, the sales of telecommunication equipment, sports and recreational articles, and cosmetics increased by 11.7 percent, 15.6 percent and 13.5 percent respectively. 

In December, the growth of total retail sales of consumer goods was 9.4 percent year-on-year, or 0.7 percent month-on-month.

In 2017, online retail sales reached 7.1751 trillion yuan, an increase of 32.2 percent compared with last year, 6.0 percentage points faster than last year. Specifically, the retail sales of physical goods was 5.4806 trillion yuan, up by 28.0 percent, accounting for 15.0 percent of the total retail sales of consumer goods, or 2.4 percentage points higher than last year. The online retail sales of non-physical goods were 1.6945 trillion yuan, up by 48.1 percent.

6. Import and export further increased, and the trade structure continued to improve.

The total value of imports and exports in 2017 was 27.7921 trillion yuan, up by 14.2 percent over last year, putting an end to the continuous decrease in the past two years. The total value of exports was 15.3318 trillion yuan, up by 10.8 percent; the total value of imports was 12.4603 trillion yuan, up by 18.7 percent. The trade balance was 2.8716 trillion yuan in surplus. 

The value of general trade increased by 16.8 percent, accounting for 56.4 percent of the total value of imports and exports, 1.3 percentage points higher than last year. The export of electrical and mechanical products increased by 12.1 percent, accounting for 58.4 percent of the total value of imports and exports, 0.7 percentage point higher than last year. 

In December, the total value of imports and exports was 2.7065 trillion yuan, up by 4.5 percent year-on-year. Of this total, the value of exports was 1.5342 trillion yuan, up by 7.4 percent; and the value of imports was 1.1722 trillion yuan, up by 0.9 percent.

7. Consumer prices rose mildly and the PPI shifted from a decrease to an increase.

In 2017, consumer prices went up by 1.6 percent year-on-year, 0.4 percentage point slower than the previous year. Specifically, the price went up by 1.7 percent in urban areas and up by 1.3 percent in rural areas. Grouped by commodity categories, prices for food, tobacco and liquor went down by 0.4 percent; clothing up by 1.3 percent; residences up by 2.6 percent; household facilities, articles and services up by 1.1 percent; transportation and communications up by 1.1 percent; education, culture and recreation up by 2.4 percent; health care and medical services up by 6.0 percent; and miscellaneous goods and services up by 2.4 percent. In terms of food, tobacco and liquor prices, grain rose by 1.5 percent, pork fell by 8.8 percent and fresh vegetables fell by 8.1 percent. In December, consumer prices went up by 1.8 percent year-on-year, or up by 0.3 percent month-on-month. In 2017, the PPI went up by 6.3 percent compared with the previous year, putting an end to the five-year decrease since 2012; the year-on-year growth in December was 4.9 percent and the month-on-month growth was 0.8 percent. In 2017, the purchasing prices for industrial producers were up by 8.1 percent over the previous year and in December, it was up by 5.9 percent year-on-year and up by 0.8 percent month-on-month. 

8. The growth of resident income accelerated and the income of rural residents grew faster than that of urban ones. 

In 2017, the nationwide per capita disposable income of residents was 25,974 yuan, a nominal growth of 9 percent over the previous year, or a real increase of 7.3 percent after deducting price factors, 1 percentage point faster than the previous year. In terms of permanent residence, the per capita disposable income of urban households was 36,396 yuan, a real growth of 6.5 percent after deducting price factors. The per capita disposable income of rural households was 13,432 yuan, up by 7.3 percent in real terms after deducting price factors. The per capita income of urban households was 2.71 times that of the rural households, 0.01 less than the previous year. The median of the nationwide per capita disposable income was 22,408 yuan, a nominal increase of 7.3 percent. Taking the per capita disposable income of nationwide households by income quintiles, that of the low-income group reached 5,958 yuan, the lower-middle-income group 13,843 yuan, the middle-income group 22,495 yuan, the upper-middle-income group 34,547 yuan, and the high-income group 64,934 yuan. In 2017, the nationwide per capita consumption expenditure was 18,322 yuan, a nominal increase of 7.1 percent, or a real increase of 5.4 percent after deducting price factors. The number of rural migrant workers in 2017 totaled 286.52 million, which was 4.81 million more than the previous year, up by 1.7 percent. Specifically, the number of migrant workers working in the places where they hold household registration was 114.67 million and the number of migrant workers working in the places where they don't hold household registration was 171.85 million, up by 2 and 1.5 percent respectively. The average monthly income of migrant workers was 3,485 yuan, up by 6.4 percent over the previous year.

9. The supply-side structural reform was further pushed forward and the transformation and upgrading made new achievements.

The efforts of cutting overcapacity, reducing inventory, deleveraging, lowering costs and strengthening weak areas were enhanced firmly. The industries of steel and coal have successfully fulfilled the annual task of cutting overcapacity. The national industrial capacity utilization rate reached 77 percent, the highest over the past five years. The inventories of commercial buildings continued to decrease, and at the end of December, the floor space of commercial buildings for sale was 106.16 million square meters less than that at the end of 2016. The leverage ratio of industrial enterprises continued to decrease. At the end of November, the asset-liability ratio of industrial enterprises above the designated size was 55.8 percent, 0.5 percentage points lower than the same period of the previous year. The cost of enterprises continued to decrease. For the first eleven months, the cost for per-hundred-yuan turnover of principal activities of the industrial enterprises above the designated size was 85.26 yuan, 0.28 yuan less compared with the same period of the previous year. Investment in weak areas grew rapidly. In 2017, investment in ecological protection and treatment of environmental pollution, management of water conservancy and agriculture went up by 23.9 percent, 16.4 percent and 16.4 percent respectively over the previous year, or 16.7, 9.2 and 9.2 percentage points faster than the total investment. 

Innovation-driven development continued to gain momentum and new driving forces grew rapidly. In 2017, the number of newly registered enterprises nationwide was 6.074 million, up by 9.9 percent over the previous year, an average of 16.6 thousand each day. A number of major achievements were scored in science and technology, such as aerospace, artificial intelligence, deep sea exploration and biological medicine. New industries and products were booming. The value added of industrial strategic emerging industries grew by 11 percent compared with the previous year, 4.4 percentage points faster than the industries above the designated size; the production of industrial robots grew by 68.1 percent compared with the previous year, and that of new energy vehicles by 51.1 percent. The economic structure continued to be optimized. In 2017, the contribution of the value added of the tertiary industry to GDP accounted for 58.8 percent, 1.3 percentage points higher than the previous year. Consumption became the major driving force for economic growth. The contribution of the final consumption expenditure to GDP accounted for 58.8 percent, 26.7 percentage points higher than the gross capital formation. Green development was solidly promoted. The energy consumption per 10,000 yuan worth of GDP went down by 3.7 percent over the previous year. 

10. The population increased steadily with a continuous increase of the urbanization rate 

By the end of 2017, the total population of the Chinese mainland was 1.39008 billion (including the population of 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, and servicemen in the PLA; but not including residents in Hong Kong SAR, Macao SAR and Taiwan and overseas Chinese), an increase of 7.37 million over that at the end of 2016. In 2017, the number of births was 17.23 million and the birth rate was 12.43 in a thousand; the number of deaths was 9.86 million with a death rate of 7.11 in a thousand; the natural growth rate was 5.32 in a thousand. In terms of gender, the male population was 711.37 million, and female population was 678.71 million; the sex ratio of the total population was 104.81 (the female is 100). The population at the working age of 16-59 was 901.99 million, accounting for 64.9 percent of the total population; the population aged 60 and over was 240.90 million, which was 17.3 percent of the total population; the population aged 65 and over was 158.31 million, accounting for 11.4 percent of the total population. In terms of urban-rural structure, the permanent residents in urban areas was 813.47 million, an increase of 20.49 million over the end of the previous year; and the usual residents in rural areas was 576.61 million, a decrease of 13.12 million. The proportion of the urban population to the total population (urbanization rate) was 58.52 percent, 1.17 percentage points higher than that at the end of 2016. The population who reside in areas other than their household registration and have been away from there for over 6 months reached 291 million, which was 0.98 million less than the previous year. Specifically, the floating population was 244 million, or 0.82 million less than that at the end of 2016. At the end of 2017, the total number of employed persons was 776.40 million and the number of urban employed persons was 424.62 million.

Generally speaking, in 2017 the national economy maintained the momentum of stable and sound development and exceeded expectations with firm steps taken to secure a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. We should also be aware that there are still difficulties and challenges confronting the economy, and the improvement of quality and efficiency remains a daunting task. At the next stage, we should rally closer around the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, take Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as the guideline, deeply implement the spirit of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and the Central Economic Work Conference, adhere to the general working guideline of making progress while maintaining stability, stick to the new development philosophy and grasp the evolution of the principal contradiction facing Chinese society. We should comply with the requirements for high quality development, promote balanced economic, political, cultural, social and ecological progress, coordinate the implementation of the four-pronged comprehensive strategy, deepen the supply-side structural reform, coordinate the efforts in stabilizing growth, stimulating reform, adjusting the structure, benefiting people’s livelihood and fending off risks, take solid steps to forestall and defuse major risks, carry out targeted poverty alleviation and prevent and control pollution, and promote sustained and sound development of the economy and society.  

Thank you.

Hu Kaihong:

Now, the floor is open for questions. Please identify yourself before asking your question.

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