SCIO briefing on 2016 national economic performance

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Ning Jizhe, director of the National Bureau of Statistics

Hu Kaihong, director-general of the Press Bureau, State Council Information Office

Jan. 20, 2017

Hu Kaihong:

Ladies and gentlemen, good morning! Welcome to the press conference held by the State Council Information Office today. We are delighted to have Mr. Ning Jizhe, director of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), to brief you about China's economic performance in 2016 and answer your questions. Also at the press conference today is Mr. Sheng Laiyun, spokesperson for the NBS. Now, Mr. Ning, please.

Ning Jizhe:

Friends from the press, good morning. Today is Xiaonian or the Preliminary Eve of the Chinese New Year. I wish you all a happy new year. Now let me introduce to you the performance of the Chinese economy in 2016.

In 2016, faced with a complicated domestic and international environment, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC)Central Committee with General Secretary Xi Jinping as the core, the whole country carried forward the overall plan for promoting all-round economic, political, cultural, social and ecological progress as well as the “Four-Pronged Comprehensive Strategy” in a coordinated way; adhered to the general work guideline of making progress while maintaining stability; followed the new vision of development; insisted on supply-side structural reform as the mainline; appropriately expanded the aggregate demand; advanced reforms; properly responded to risks and challenges and shaped good social expectations. As a result, the national economy has achieved moderate yet steady and sound development, getting off to a good start during the 13th Five-Year Plan period.

According to the preliminary estimation, the gross domestic product (GDP) of China was 74.41trillion yuan in 2016, an increase of 6.7 percent compared with last year. Specifically, the year-on-year growth of GDP for the first quarter was 6.7 percent, 6.7 percent for the second quarter, 6.7 percent for the third quarter, and 6.8 percent for the fourth quarter. The value added of the primary industry was 6.37trillion yuan, up by 3.3 percent over the previous year; that of the secondary industry was 29.62trillion yuan, up by 6.1 percent; and 38.42trillion yuan for the tertiary industry, up by 7.8 percent.

1. Agricultural production enjoyed another harvest, and production of animal husbandry was generally stable.

The total grain output in 2016 was 616.24 million tons, a decrease of 5.2 million tons compared with last year, down by 0.8 percent; however, it is still the second highest in history. The total output of summer grain was 139.2 million tons, down by 1.2 percent; the total output of early rice was 32.78 million tons, down by 2.7 percent; the total output of autumn grain was 444.26 million tons, down by 0.6 percent. The total output of cotton in 2016 was 5.34 million tons, down by 4.6 percent. The total output of oil-bearing crops was 36.13 million tons, up by 2.2 percent; that of vegetables was 800.05 million tons, up by 1.9 percent; that of fruits was 283.19 million tons, up by 3.4 percent. The total output of pork, beef, mutton and poultry was 83.64 million tons, down by 1.1 percent over last year, among which the total output of pork was 52.99 million tons, down by 3.4 percent; beef 7.17 million tons, up by 2.4 percent; mutton 4.59 million tons, up by 4.2 percent; poultry 18.88 million tons, up by 3.4 percent. The total output of poultry eggs was 30.95 million tons, up by 3.2 percent; the total output of milk was 36.02 million tons, down by 4.1 percent.

2. Industrial production grew steadily with rising profits for enterprises.

The real growth of the total value added of industrial enterprises above the designated size in 2016 was 6.0 percent, the same as that in the first three quarters. An analysis by types of ownership showed that the value added of state holding enterprises was up by 2.0 percent; that of collective enterprises, down by 1.3 percent; share-holding enterprises, up by 6.9 percent; and enterprises funded by foreign investors or investors from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, up by 4.5 percent. In terms of sectors, the value added of mining dropped by 1.0 percent, manufacturing increased by 6.8 percent and electricity, thermal power, gas and the production and supply of water increased by 5.5 percent. The value added of the high-tech industry grew by 10.8 percent over last year, 4.8 percentage points higher than industrial enterprises above the designated size, accounting for 12.4 percent of industrial enterprises above the designated size, 0.6 percentage points more than last year. In 2016, the sales-output ratio of industrial enterprises above the designated size reached 97.8 percent. The export delivery value of these enterprises reached 11.92 trillion yuan, up by 0.4 percent over last year. In December, the total value added of industrial enterprises above the designated size was up by 6.0 percent year-on-year or up by 0.46 percent month-on-month.

From January to November, the profits made by industrial enterprises above the designated size stood at 6.03trillion yuan, up by 9.4 percent year-on-year, 1.0 percentage point higher than that in the first three quarters. The profit rate of the main business operations of industrial enterprises above the designated size was 5.85 percent, up by0.26percentage points year-on-year.

3. The growth of investment in fixed assets was slow yet stable, and the floor space of commercial buildings for sale decreased.

In 2016, the investment in fixed assets (excluding rural households) was 59.65 trillion yuan, a nominal growth of 8.1 percent over last year or a real growth of 8.8 percent after deducting price factors, 0.1 percentage points slower than that in the first three quarters.

Specifically, investment by state holding enterprises reached 21.31 trillion yuan, a rise of 18.7 percent; private investment reached 36.52 trillion yuan, up by 3.2 percent, 0.7 percentage point faster than that in the first three quarters, accounting for 61.2 percent of the total investment. The investment in the primary industry was 1.88 trillion yuan, up by 21.1 percent; the secondary industry 23.18 trillion yuan, up by 3.5 percent; and the tertiary industry 34.58 trillion yuan, an increase of 10.9 percent, among which the investment in infrastructure was 11.89 trillion yuan, up by 17.4 percent.

Investment in the high-tech industry went up by 15.8 percent year-on-year, 7.7 percentage points faster than that of total investment. The funds in place for investment in fixed assets in 2016 were 60.7 trillion yuan, up by 5.8 percent compared with last year. The planned total investment in newly-started projects in 2016 was 49.33 trillion yuan, up by 20.9 percent over last year. In December, investment in fixed assets (excluding rural households) grew by 0.53 percent month-on-month.

The total investment in real estate development in 2016 was 10.26 trillion yuan, a nominal growth of 6.9 percent (a real growth of 7.5 percent after deducting price factors), 1.1 percentage points faster than that in the first three quarters and 5.9 percentage points faster than last year, among which the investment in residential buildings went up by 6.4 percent. The floor space newly started was 1.67 billion square meters, up by 8.1 percent over last year. Specifically, the newly started floor space of residential buildings went up by 8.7 percent.

The floor space of commercial buildings sold was 1.57 billion square meters, up by 22.5 percent. Specifically, the floor space of residential buildings sold was up by 22.4 percent. The total sales of commercial buildings were 11.76 trillion yuan, up by 34.8 percent, among which the sales of residential buildings were up by 36.1 percent.

The land space purchased for real estate development was 220.25 million square meters, down by 3.4 percent over last year. By the end of December, the floor space of commercial buildings for sale was 695.39 million square meters, down by 3.2 percent compared with that at the end of last year. The funds in place for real estate development enterprises reached 14.42 trillion yuan, up by 15.2 percent over last year.

4. Market sales witnessed steady and comparatively fast growth, and categories of upgraded consumer goods enjoyed rapid growth.

In 2016, the total retail sales of consumer goods reached 33.23 trillion yuan, a nominal annual rise of 10.4 percent (a real growth of 9.6 percent after deducting price factors), the same as that in the first three quarters.

Specifically, the retail sales of consumer goods by enterprises above the designated size stood at 15.43 trillion yuan, up by 8.1 percent. Analyzed by different areas, the retail sales in urban areas reached 28.58 trillion yuan, up by 10.4 percent, and the retail sales in rural areas stood at 4.65 trillion yuan, up by 10.9 percent.

Grouped by consumption patterns, the income of the catering industry was 3.58 trillion yuan, up by 10.8 percent; and the retail sales of goods were 29.65 trillion yuan, up by 10.4 percent. In particular, the retail sales of the enterprises above the designated size reached 14.51 trillion yuan, up by 8.3 percent. The retail sales of communication equipment and housing goods grew fast. The retail sales of communication equipment went up by 11.9 percent; furniture sales up by 12.7 percent; the building and decoration materials up by 14.0 percent. In December, the nominal growth of total retail sales of consumer goods was 10.9 percent year-on-year (a real growth of 9.2 percent after deducting price factors), or 0.89 percent month-on-month. In 2016, online retail sales reached 5.16 trillion yuan, an increase of 26.2 percent compared with last year, among which the retail sales of physical goods was 4.19 trillion yuan, up by 25.6 percent, accounting for 12.6 percent of the total retail sales of consumer goods, or 1.8 percentage points higher than that in last year.

5. The drop in the value of exports narrowed and the value of imports shifted from negative to positive.

The total value of imports and exports in 2016 was 24.33 trillion yuan, down by 0.9 percent, and 6.1 percentage points less than last year.

The total value of exports was 13.84 trillion yuan, down by 2.0 percent; the total value of imports was 10.49 trillion yuan, up by 0.6 percent. In particular, the value of general trade accounted for 55 percent of the total value of imports and exports, 1.0 percentage point higher than last year. The trade balance was 3.35 trillion yuan in surplus.

By quarters, the total value of exports in the first quarter, second quarter and third quarter dropped by 7.9 percent, 0.8 percent and 0.3 percent respectively compared with the same period of last year, while the fourth quarter went up by 0.3 percent. In December, the total value of imports and exports was 2.59 trillion yuan, up by 4.9 percent year-on-year. Of this total, the value of exports was 1.43 trillion yuan, up by 0.6 percent; and the value of imports was 1.16 trillion yuan, up by 10.8 percent.

6. The consumer price rose moderately and the month-on-month change of producer prices for industrial goods shifted from decrease to increase.

In 2016, the consumer price went up by 2.0 percent over last year, the same level as that in the first three quarters. Specifically, the price went up by 2.1 percent in urban areas and up 1.9 percent in rural areas.

Grouped by commodity categories, prices for food, tobacco and liquor went up by 3.8 percent; clothing up by 1.4 percent; residence up by 1.6 percent, household facilities, articles and services up by 0.5 percent; transportation and communications down by 1.3 percent; education, culture and recreation up by 1.6 percent; health care and medical services up by 3.8 percent; and miscellaneous goods and services up by 2.8 percent.

In terms of food, tobacco and liquor prices, grain went up by 0.5 percent, pork up by 16.9 percent and fresh vegetables up by 11.7 percent. In December, the consumer prices went up by 2.1 percent year-on-year, or up by 0.2 percent month-on-month. In 2016, the producer prices for industrial products went down by 1.4 percent compared with last year. After 54 consecutive months of decline which ended in September, year-on-year growth continued to expand. The year-on-year growth in December was 5.5 percent and the month-on-month growth was 1.6 percent. The purchasing prices for manufactured goods was down by 2.0 percent compared with last year and in December, it was up by 6.3 percent year-on-year and up 1.9 percent month-on-month.

7. Residents' income increased steadily and rural-urban disparity continued to narrow.

In 2016, the nationwide per capita disposable income of residents was 23,821 yuan, a nominal growth of 8.4 percent over last year, or a real increase of 6.3 percent after deducting price factors.

In terms of permanent residence, the per capita disposable income of urban households was 33,616 yuan, up by 7.8 percent, or a real growth of 5.6 percent after deducting price factors. The per capita disposable income of rural households was 12,363 yuan, up by 8.2 percent, or 6.2 percent in real terms after deducting price factors. The per capita income of urban households was 2.72 times of the rural households, 0.01 less than last year. The median of the nationwide disposal income was 20,883 yuan, a nominal increase of 8.3 percent.

Taking the per capita disposable income of nationwide households by income quintiles, that of the low-income group reached 5,529 yuan, the lower-middle-income group 12,899 yuan, the middle-income group 20,924 yuan, the upper-middle-income group 31,990 yuan, and the high-income group 59,259 yuan.

In 2016, the nationwide per capita consumption expenditure was 17,111 yuan, a nominal increase of 8.9 percent, or a real increase of 6.8 percent after deducting price factors. The number of rural migrant workers in 2016 totaled 281.71 million, which was 4.24 million more than last year, or up by 1.5 percent. Specifically, the numbers of local and outside migrant workers were 112.37 million and 169.34 million respectively, up by 3.4 and 0.3 percent. The average monthly income of migrant workers was 3,275 yuan, up by 6.6 percent.

8. The supply-side structural reform has achieved positive progress and the economic structure continued to be optimized.

The efforts of cutting overcapacity, reducing inventory, deleveraging, lowering costs and strengthening weak links have achieved notable results. The industries of steel and coal have successfully fulfilled the task of cutting overcapacity in 2016 and the output of coal in 2016 dropped by 9.4 percent over last year.

At the end of November, the inventories of manufactured products of industrial enterprises above the designated size grew by 0.5 percent year-on-year, 4.1 percentage points slower than the same period last year. The inventories of commercial buildings continued to decrease, and at the end of December, the floor space of commercial buildings for sale was 23.14 million square meters less than that at the end of 2015.

The asset-liability ratio and the cost of industrial enterprises both decreased to some extent. By the end of November, the asset-liability ratio of the industrial enterprises above the designated size was 56.1 percent, 0.6 percentage point lower than the same period last year. For the first eleven months, the cost for per-hundred-yuan turnover of principal activities of the industrial enterprises above the designated size was 85.76 yuan, 0.14 yuan less compared with the same period last year.

Investment in weak areas grew rapidly. In 2016, investment in ecological protection and treatment of environmental pollution went up by 39.9 percent over last year; management of water conservancy was also up by 20.4 percent; agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and fishery combined were up by 19.5 percent. Respectively they are 31.8 percentage points, 12.3 percentage points and 11.4 percentage points faster than the total investment.

The economic structure continued to transform and upgrade. The industrial structure was optimized and transformed. In 2016, the value added of the tertiary industry accounted for 51.6 percent of GDP, 1.4 percentage points higher over last year, 11.8 percentage points higher than that of the secondary industry.

The demand structure was further improved. In 2016, the contribution of final consumption expenditure to GDP accounted for 64.6 percent. The strategy of innovation-driven development was further implemented, and a series of achievements in areas like space stations, spacecraft, rockets, quantum communications, high-speed computing, space detection, and large aircraft have kept developing.

The new driving forces have grown fast. The value-added of strategic emerging industries went up by 10.5 percent over last year, 4.5 percentage points higher than that of industrial enterprises above the designated size. Solid progress was made in business startups and innovation by the general public. The number of newly registered enterprises nationwide was 5.53 million, up by 24.5 percent over last year, an average of 15 thousand each day.

The business climate index of industrial enterprises of small and micro-size has picked up. The business climate indexes from the first quarter to the fourth quarter were 87.2, 90.6, 92.0 and 93.3 respectively. Notable progress was made in energy conservation and consumption reduction. In 2016, the energy consumption per unit of GDP decreased by 5.0 percent over last year. In particular, the percentage of clean energy consumption, including the consumption of hydropower, wind power, nuclear power and natural gas increased by 1.6 percentage points over last year.

9. Money and credit supply maintained stable growth, and loans increased year-on-year.

By December, the balance of broad money (M2) was 155.01 trillion yuan, annual growth of 11.3 percent; the balance of narrow money (M1) increased 21.4 percent to 48.66 trillion yuan, while cash in circulation (M0) grew to 6.83 trillion yuan, a rise of 8.1 percent. At the same time, the amount of outstanding RMB bank loans hit 106.6 trillion yuan; that of RMB deposit reached 150.59 trillion yuan. Last year, RMB bank loans increased by 12.65 trillion yuan, with a growth of 925.7 billion yuan compared to 2015; RMB deposit growth fell by 92.4 billion yuan to 14.88 trillion yuan. Social financing last year rose by 17.8 trillion yuan.

10. Population grew at a stable rate and urbanization gathered steam.

By year-end, the mainland population stood at 1.38 billion (including 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, and servicemen in CPLA; but excluding residents in Hong Kong SAR, Macao SAR, Taiwan Province and overseas Chinese), an increase of 809 million year-on-year. In 2016, there were 17.86 million births, an increase of 1.31 million, giving a birth rate of 12.95 per thousand; the number of deaths was 9.77 million, giving a death rate of 7.09 per thousand. Thus, the natural growth rate was 5.86 per thousand, an increase of 0.9 per thousand. Regarding gender, the male population totaled 708.15 million and female population 674.56 million, producing a sex ratio of of 104.98 males to100 females. The working-age population in the age group 16-59 (inclusive) was 907.47 million, accounting for 65.6 percent of total population. The population aged 60 and over was 230.86 million, 16.7 percent of total population; population aged 65 and over was 150.03 million, or 10.8 percent of the total. In terms of the urban-rural structure, permanent residents in urban areas stood at 792.98 million, an increase of 21.82 million over the previous year; there were 589.73 million rural residents, a decrease of 13.73 million. The proportion of the urban population to the total population (urbanization rate) was 57.35 percent. The population residing in areas other than that of their household registration, and doing so for over six months reached 292 million, which was 2.03 million less than the previous year. Specifically, the floating population was 245 million, or 1.71 million less than that at the end of 2015. At the end of 2016, the total number of employed persons was 776.03 million and the number of urban employed persons reached 414.28 million.

Generally speaking, the national economy in 2016 run within a proper range with improved quality and efficiency. I'll conclude my introduction here, thank you.


The GDP growth of 6.7 percent, especially the rate of 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, may draw considerable attention across the country as the slight upward trend resembles the upper end of a smiling curve representing China's economic performance in the past few years. My question is: with supply-side structural reform being pursued to change the industrial landscape and the goals of economic transformation set as early as the end of last century, is 2016 supposed to be the watershed marking the evolution of the Chinese economy? Besides, is the 6.7-percent growth rate signaling the medium and high increases of China's economic “new normal” addressed by President Xi Jinping?

Ning Jizhe:

The Chinese economy has progressed to the phase known as the new normal. As you said, the growth of 6.7-percent is reasonable as it was earlier estimated to grow between 6.5 percent and 7 percent. It could be called a medium-and-high growth rate and it remains high compared to the rest of the world. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Chinese economy was expected to grow 6.7 percent in 2016, while, India was to achieve 6.6 percent. The growth of Chinese economy last year probably remained the highest in the world. As the second largest economy in the world, our GDP has amassed US$1.1 trillion, a basis on which an increase of one percentage point would result in colossal output. The growth is especially significant when China has undertaken economic structural advancement and the change of economic models. In view of the structural reform, the contribution of the tertiary industry to GDP in 2016 continued to grow, as the consumption comprised almost two-thirds of the national economy. With the change of economic models, energy intensity per unit GDP last year declined by five percent, a figure reflecting painstaking endeavor. The proportion of the use of clean energy increased and the enterprise efficiency improved. Economic improvement in quality and efficiency are important parameters for economic transformation. To conclude, last year, the economy performed in an appropriate range with improved quality and efficiency, two hallmarks under the new normal last year.

Phoenix TV:

Recently, there were many media reports about the economic data fraud scandal of Liaoning Province. What was the province's real situation between 2011 and 2014? Will its data be adjusted according to the true situation? My next question is: Is data deception a common practice in other provinces? What measures will be taken to ensure we get correct data?

Ning Jizhe:

The Liaoning provincial government has responded to the issue. You can contact the local statistics department for further information. The data involved in the scandal is mainly about financial revenue. I think, on a national scale, the statistics remain reliable.

Fraud in some particular areas concerning some particular issues will be halted as soon as it is discovered. The National Bureau of Statistics has taken a series of measures to ensure the correctness of statistical data. It has also adopted legal approaches to prevent fraud. Part of its power involves enforcing the Statistics Law.

China National Radio:

Investment in the real estate sector is still growing rapidly. Some scholars seem to feel the development of the real economy has not been as fast as expected. Is there a possibility that more money goes into the virtual economy instead of the real economy in China? What's your opinion on this issue? What policy tools can be used to promote healthy development of the real economy?

Ning Jizhe:

We can understand the real economy in both a broad and narrow sense.

Normally, the industrial, agricultural and service sectors all belong to the real economy. The production scale of China's industrial sector is the largest in the world, with output of more than 200 industrial products ranking first in the world. This also applies to the agricultural sector, with the production of grains, cotton and edible oil all ranking first. The service sector, including transportation and commodity circulation, has also gradually taken up a larger share of the country's GDP. Therefore, China remains a big power in the world in terms of the real economy.

As far as the real estate market is concerned, if a property is bought for speculation, it should not be included in the real economy. However, if it is bought for self-use, then it should be included. We must analyze case-by-case.

Regarding your first question, I'm afraid the case is true in some particular areas. But the fluctuations in the capital market, which have aroused public concern, are being kept under control. We have made much progress in developing the real economy and increasing financial efficiency.

In the future, we will continue to avoid risks caused by excessive market fluctuations, thus promoting steady development of the real economy. Thank you.


I have two questions. First, the growth of China's GDP was 6.7 percent overall last year, but 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter. And we also notice that the loan increment hit a record high and the investment of State-owned agencies increased very fast, sparking concerns over China's rising debt ratio, so, what's your opinion on this issue? The second question is: The National Bureau of Statistics said it would include the online ride-hailing and sharing economy into GDP; how is that going on?

Ning Jizhe:

As the Chinese economy grows, the loans granted, including aggregate financing, have shown a remarkable increase. However, the growth of M2 money supply slowed down compared to the previous two years and currency liquidity is within a reasonable range. The GDP growth figures we released reflect real growth after deducting price factors, while that of M2 is nominal growth. So, there seems to be a wide gap between the two figures. However, the nominal growth of GDP last year was 8 percent, not much lower than the M2 increase rate. The debt ratio of industrial enterprises with annual sales revenue of 20 million yuan or more is decreasing, though slowly. That's still a good trend – the debt ratio and leverage ratio are moving downwards. Credit loans and indirect financing are the mainstream financing methods in China and it's necessary to inject a certain amount of capital to boost the real economy. Therefore, there's no need to worry about the Chinese enterprise debt ratio. It's agreed internationally that China's government debt ratio is relatively low among major economies.

The sharing economy, online ride-hailing services and once popular vacation timeshare ownership have made statistics more difficult to calculate. We're still searching for an adequate calculation method, so they weren't included in last year's GDP. As for those factors with an internationally-agreed calculation method, we have already included them into our GDP calculation. For example, we began including R&D according to the System of National Accounts 2008. We'll continue to conduct research into the calculation of those factors you just mentioned.

Dragon TV:

Mr. Ning, I know you also serve as the NDRC vice minister. As we can see, there is a report about economic operation every year, offering national average figures of a number of indicators. However, such national averages tend to cover up many micro-economic problems. How do you view these figures in your dual capacity as the head of NBS and the vice minister of the NDRC, the decision-maker for economic issues? How do you and your colleagues make use of these figures in decision-making so they can reflect both macro- and micro-economic issues?

Ning Jizhe:

In fact, the macro data comes from the micro data, according to our statistical methodology. For example, the macro data about the industrial enterprises above the designated size (with annual sales revenue of 20 million or more) is calculated by adding up figures submitted directly online to the NBS by individual enterprises. Since no intermediate links are involved, the macro data can reflect the actual situation of individual enterprises. However, we are not allowed to publicize data of individual enterprises without their express consent, according to the Statistics Law. Public companies are obliged to make their data freely available, but others don't have to do this. Some enterprises are reluctant to publicize such data as the amount of their assets and profits and the Statistics Law protects their right to do so. The NBS has access to information of individual micro economic entities for purposes other than profit-making and abnormal uses. In addition, the NBS also collects, through sample surveys, real information about the industrial enterprises below the designated size.

TV Tokyo:

What do you think will be the impact of Donald Trump's inauguration on the Chinese economy? I want to know your thoughts of how it will affect the GDP of China this year?

Ning Jizhe:

I congratulate Mr. Trump for becoming the next President of the United State. The United States is the largest economy in the world with a GDP of US$18 trillion. China is the world's second largest economy with a GDP of US$11 trillion. Meanwhile, the United States is the largest developed country with its per capita GDP reaching US$50,000, and China is the largest developing country with its per capita GDP reaching US$8,000. The average per capita GDP is US$11,000 worldwide. Both leaders from the two countries have leading roles in economy. According to our statistics, the amount of bilateral trade was over US$500 billion in 2016. The total amount of bilateral investment is over US$100 billion. This is the largest investment worldwide. People from both countries benefit a lot from the trade and investment, therefore, it is a mutually beneficial and win-win situation. Personally, I believe and hope that Mr. Trump will consider the bilateral ties from the perspective of mutual benefit, and develop the cooperation after he takes office. As for the influence to China's GDP, I think GDP of both countries will continue to grow as Mr. Trump also proposes to increase the U.S. GDP, and Chinese economy will maintain medium-high rate of growth.

The Beijing News:

The property market was hot last year. What is the contribution rate for the real estate industry to the economic growth? Will the contribution rate keep the same level in 2017?

Ning Jizhe:

With many contributing factors, the property investment, the floor space of houses started construction, the floor space of buildings sold out, the total sales volume of 2016 have all increased compared to the previous year. From January to September, in first-tier cities and some second-tier cities, especially the 15 key cities, the property market grew faster and experienced a price hike.

In the past 3 months, the price hike has been controlled in these cities. In third-tier cities and fourth-tier cities, and in some counties, there is still excess supply in the real estate markets. The total housing inventory is reducing, with more decrease in some cities and less in other cities. The data is relatively stable compared with those in previous years. I think the real estate market will maintain a healthy development in 2017 and we are very confident.


Some recent reports claimed the Chinese government has initially projected a growth rate of 6.5 percent for 2017. I would like to ask for your comment on this. If 6.5 percent is a reasonable figure, how should we interpret the background and reasons behind the slight slowdown?

Ning Jizhe:

The expected goal for China's economic growth in 2017 will be discussed and formed in China's two legislative sessions [NPC and CPPCC, to be held in March]. It will not be announced by the National Bureau of Statistics. The bureau only publishes the statistics from the previous year.

China News Service:

In past years, when the annual statistics were published, you would usually publish the Gini coefficient which reflects the national wealth gap. However, this time there's no such index published. Could you reveal that information to us? We have seen that the income gap between urban and rural regions keeps on shrinking, so how about the Gini coefficient?

Ning Jizhe:

In recent years, China's Gini coefficient has been falling, in general. As you can see, from 2012 to 2015, the Gini coefficient calculation for Chinese citizens' income was 0.474, 0.473, 0.469 and 0.462 respectively. The index for 2016 was 0.465, which means a rise of 0.003 from 2015's. However, it doesn't change the overall trend that the Gini coefficient is going down. In the past year, China's urban and rural residents' income gap shrank comparatively speaking: the per capita income of urban households was 2.73 times that of rural households in 2015, while it dropped in 2016 to 2.72. So, why is the Gini index rising? According to our survey, it's mainly because that the growth rate was slowing down in regard to the old-age pension income for some low-income urban residents while, in rural areas, some people made living solely depending on grain production. As the price of grain was falling, their income was reduced. The change is probably due to these two reasons. However, I would stress that the general trend is not changing. And we have increased our efforts in poverty alleviation and relief, as well as speeding up the program of urban and rural integration. The residents' income gap will keep shrinking gradually, this can be anticipated.

Hu Kaihong:

Today's press conference is over. Thank you, Mr. Ning and Mr. Sheng.

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