China's economy continues recovery, shows resilience

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Aerial photo taken on Sept. 11, 2020 shows a view of downtown Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong Province. [Photo/Xinhua]

China's economy maintained the trend of recovery in August despite disruptions from the COVID-19 epidemic and natural disasters, showing the resilience of the world's second largest economy.

The country's industrial output showed stable growth in August this year, with the value-added industrial output, a key indicator reflecting industrial activities and economic prosperity, expanding 5.3 percent year on year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The figure was up 11.2 percent from the level in August 2019. In the first eight months, industrial output gained 13.1 percent year on year, resulting in an average two-year growth of 6.6 percent, NBS data shows.

High-tech manufacturing became a shining point in the industrial output as the country strived for industrial and technological upgrading. Last month, the output of the sector jumped 18.3 percent year on year, accelerating by 2.7 percentage points compared with the figure registered in July.

China's retail sales of consumer goods went up 2.5 percent year on year in August, down by 6 percentage points from the previous month.

The sporadic outbreaks of COVID-19 and natural disasters such as floods hindered travel and held back consumption during the summer holiday, NBS spokesperson Fu Linghui said, adding that the high base factor also resulted in the steep year-on-year drop.

However, the cumulative growth for the last eight months showed that retail sales gained 18.1 percent year on year, which means consumption remained generally stable and the recovery trend was unchanged, said Fu.

With the containment of the Delta variant outbreak in early September, retail sales growth may rebound in September, Nomura Securities said in a research note.

Fu is optimistic about future consumption activities, considering the upgrading demands of the large middle-income group of over 400 million people, the stable job market and the increasing profitability of enterprises.

China's job market remained generally stable, with the surveyed urban unemployment rate standing at 5.1 percent in August, unchanged from that in July.

During the first eight months of this year, the country created 9.38 million new jobs in its urban areas, achieving 85.3 percent of the annual target.

The surveyed unemployment rate of young people saw an apparent drop in August, bolstered by the country's economic recovery and a series of policies to support job-seeking by college graduates. The unemployment rate of those aged between 16 and 24 was down by 0.9 percentage points from that in July to 15.3 percent, NBS data shows.

China's fixed-asset investment went up 8.9 percent year on year in the first eight months of this year, with the average growth rate over the past two years standing at 4 percent. Investment in the manufacturing sector stood out, with a 15.7-percent yearly increase during the period.

Fu said that, despite the recovery, the international environment is still complex and severe, and the sporadic COVID-19 outbreaks and natural disasters such as floods have affected the country's economy.

"The foundation of the economic recovery still needs to be consolidated," Fu added.

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