Press briefing on national economic performance in H1

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Mr. Mao Shengyong, spokesperson for the National Bureau of Statistics

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

July 16, 2018

Hu Kaihong:

Thank you, Mr. Mao. Now, the floor is open to questions. Please identify the media outlet you represent before asking a question.


The domestic and international situation in the first half of the year became more and more complicated . Why can the Chinese economy still maintain such a smooth operation? How do you evaluate the operation of the Chinese economy in the first half of the year? Thank you.

Mao Shengyong:

Thank you for your question. Judging from the basic situation of China's economic operation that I just introduced, the Chinese economy continued to be steady and move in the right direction in the first half of the year. It can be analyzed in the following four respects :

First, the economy is running smoothly. In terms of the growth rate, the GDP growth rate in the first half of the year was 6.8 percent, with a growth of 6.8 percent in the first quarter, 6.7 percent in the second quarter, and a stable operation in the mid-high speed range of 6.7 to 6.9 percent for 12 consecutive quarters. 

From the perspective of employment, the national urban surveyed unemployment rate has been less than 5 percent for three consecutive months , and was 4.8 percent in May and June. This level is the lowest one since the establishment of the national labor monthly survey system by the National Bureau of Statistics in 2016. The surveyed unemployment rate of large cities and towns was 4.7 percent. 

From the price point of view, the CPI rose by 2 percent in the first half of the year, showing a moderate upward trend, which also indicates that the supply and demand of the entire market is basically balanced. The PPI rose by 3.9 percent and its growth rate dropped by 2.7 percentage points over the same period of the previous year. Such a level is quite reasonable. On the one hand, it can ensure that the profits of industrial enterprises maintain a relatively reasonable growth rate, and at the same time, it is also beneficial to reduce the cost transmission pressure to downstream products.

2. The structure was optimized and upgraded. In terms of sectors, the service sector saw fast growth and its proportion of added value to GDP continued to grow and reached 54.3 percent, which was 0.3 percentage point higher year on year. Its contribution to economic growth increased to 60.5 percent in H1, which was 1.4 percentage points higher than the same period last year. The service sector has become more of an anchor in economic growth. The industrial transformation and upgrading is accelerating, and the planting structure of the agricultural sector has been adjusted and optimized many times. In terms of demand, the fundamental role of consumption in the economic growth has been enhancing. In H1, the contribution of consumption to economic growth registered 78.5 percent, 14.2 percentage points higher year on year. Private investment and investment in manufacturing are improving. General trade in H1 accounted for 59 percent of the total trade volume, 2.0 percentage points higher than the same period last year.

3. The dynamics transformation has sped up. With regard to the market entities, reforms to delegate power, improve government regulation and optimize government services continued to push forward this year, which helped develop and upgrade entrepreneurship and innovation. In H1, there are an average of 18,100 new market entities registering on a daily basis. In terms of new supplies, high-tech industries, and products representing technological progress, transformation and upgrading saw a fast growth. The value added of the high-tech, equipment manufacturing and strategic new industries registered fast growth at 11.6 percent, 9.2 percent and 8.7 percent respectively, clearly higher than the growth of industrial enterprises above the designated size. As far as new demand and new consumption, the consumption of services grows faster, including tourism, health, elderly care, education, and culture. The consumption of upgraded goods also registered fast growth, such as smart appliances and industrial robots.

4. Quality and profits are improving. As for the quality, the proportion of clean energy in the total energy consumption in H1 increased 1.5 percentage points year on year according to the requirements of green development and ecological civilization building The energy consumption per 10,000 yuan of GDP went down 3.2 percent year on year, a decrease higher than the expected target of 3.0 percent. In terms of profits, the following three aspects saw a sound performance. In H1, the per capita disposable income of urban and rural residents went up 6.6 percent, equal to that in Q1. The increase is roughly in sync with the economic growth and higher than the growth of the per capita GDP. Enterprises' profits retained fast growth. From January to May, the enterprises above designated size saw their profits grow 16.5 percent year on year. The business profits of service enterprises above designated size increased 9 percent. The general public budget revenue went up 10.6 percent to exceed 10 trillion yuan in H1.

To summarize the above four aspects, China's economy stayed on an upward trajectory in H1, and is set for high-quality growth. Moreover, the achievements were hard-won in the context of rising external uncertainties and internal restructuring, transforming and upgrading. Thank you.

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