Chinese Economy Expands 6.4% In Q1

The Chinese economy expanded 6.4 percent year on year in the first quarter of this year, official data showed Wednesday.


China’s GDP reached 21.343 trillion yuan (US$3.18 trillion) in the first three months of 2019, and the growth pace was the same as that of Q4 2018, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in a statement.


The tertiary sector reported the strongest growth in added value by expanding 7 percent to reach 12.232 trillion yuan, which accounted for 57.3 percent of the total Q1 GDP, picking up by 0.6 percentage points compared with Q1 2018.


Consumption continued to be the mainstay in driving up demand, contributing 65.1 percent to Q1 economic growth, NBS data showed.


The industrial and agricultural sectors saw their added value grow 6.1 percent and 2.7 percent respectively.


Wednesday’s data also showed stable Q1 growths in fields including industrial output, retail sales, property investment and resident disposable income.


The national economy performed within an appropriate range in Q1, sustaining the momentum of progress in overall stability with growing positive factors, which laid a sound foundation for the stable and healthy economic development of the whole year, the NBS statement said.


A string of economic data have shown notably improved market expectation with strengthened development confidence.


Factory activities became expansionary in March after staying below the threshold for three months, while the services sector continued to expand. The Q1 Consumer Confidence Index was 3.2 percentage points higher than that of Q4 2018.


The NBS also pointed out that the task of reform and development is arduous and the economic downward pressure still persists given global uncertainties and domestic structural issues.


The government will fully mobilize the initiative of all sectors of the society, and redouble efforts to implement policies to ensure the economy performs within an appropriate range and advance the high-quality development, the NBS said.


Industrial output


China’s industrial output, an important economic indicator, expanded 6.5 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2019, official data showed Wednesday.


The growth rate came in 1.2 percentage points higher than that recorded in the January-February period, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.


Ownership analysis showed that in the first quarter, industrial output of state-holding enterprises and share-holding firms went up 4.5 percent and 7.8 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, industrial output of enterprises funded by overseas investors increased by 1.4 percent.


The industrial production saw faster growth in the first quarter, with more presence of high-tech industries, the NBS said in a statement.


High-tech industries maintained fast expansion, with their output increasing 7.8 percent year on year, up 0.8 percentage points from a year earlier.


New products saw robust growth, as the production of mobile communication base station equipment, urban rail vehicles, new energy vehicles, and solar panels increased 153.7 percent, 54.1 percent, 48.2 percent and 18.2 percent, respectively.


In March alone, industrial output increased 8.5 percent year on year, a record-high since July 2014, up 3.2 percentage points from the January-February period.


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 (US$2.9 million).


Retail sales


China’s retail sales of consumer goods rose 8.3 percent year on year in the first quarter of the year, official data showed Wednesday.


The growth quickened from an increase of 8.2 percent registered in the first two months.


Disposable income


China’s per capita disposable income stood at 8,493 yuan in the first three months, up 6.8 percent year on year in real terms, official data showed Wednesday.


The growth rate was 0.2 percentage points higher than the same period last year.


Fixed-asset investment


China continued to see faster growth in fixed-asset investment thanks to robust high-tech investment in the first quarter of 2019, official data showed Wednesday.


FAI grew 6.3 percent year on year in Q1, 0.2 percentage points faster than the first two months of 2019 and 0.4 percentage points faster than the whole year of 2018, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.


Compared with the same period of last year, the growth was down 1.2 percentage points.


In March, FAI rose 0.45 percent from the previous month.


The FAI in Q1 amounted to 10.187 trillion yuan (US$1.5 trillion), according to the NBS.


“Investment has steadily recovered, with that in high-tech industries recording relatively fast growth,” the NBS said in a statement.


In Q1, investment in high-tech manufacturing and services posted vigorous gains of 11.4 percent and 19.3 percent year on year, respectively.


Private investment, accounting for around 60 percent of the total FAI, posted a 6.4-percent year-on-year increase, also outpacing the overall growth, the NBS data showed.


Investment in the primary and secondary industries rose 3 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively, while that in the tertiary industry went up 7.5 percent.


Wednesday’s data also showed steady expansion in the broader economy, as the country’s GDP grew 6.4 percent year on year in Q1, level with that of Q4 2018 and within the government annual target of 6-6.5 percent.


Source: Xinhua