SCIO briefing on China's economic performance in first quarter of 2021

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, April 21, 2021
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I have two questions. First, investment in the manufacturing industry during the first quarter increased by 29.8% year-on-year, registering an average two-year decrease of 2%, and consumption in the first quarter exceeded expectations. Will the manufacturing investments impact future economic growth, employment, and consumption, and what are the factors involved? Second, China has promised to strive for peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. Will the economy be impacted to achieve this goal? Thank you.

Liu Aihua:

Thank you for your questions. Your first question is a very targeted one. In the process of rapid recovery of overall demand, there are indeed areas that have yet to return to pre-epidemic levels, including investments in the manufacturing sector. An average two-year drop of 2% means that current manufacturing investments are about 96% of before the COVID-19 epidemic and that manufacturing investments haven't returned to pre-epidemic levels. There are many factors involved. On the one hand, this shows that enterprises are facing some difficulties in production and management. They are still recovering and have some concerns regarding investment. On the other hand, enterprises are also observing the overall market, and the factors conducive to the recovery of manufacturing investments are slowly accumulating and increasing. For example, profits for industrial enterprises of designated size in January and February increased by 1.79 times, a significant growth year-on-year, and the average two-year growth reached 31.2%. It can be said that enterprise profits are improving.

This year marks the first year of the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), and some major projects are being arranged, providing private enterprises with more and more opportunities to participate. There are many investment opportunities in terms of new infrastructure and new urbanization initiatives and major projects, the transformation of traditional industries, and the upgrading of emerging industries. Therefore, I think, with the overall recovery of the economy and improvement in enterprises' profits, the confidence of enterprises will slowly be enhanced and the room for upgrading of the manufacturing industry remains large. We are still very confident in the recovery of manufacturing investments in the future.

Your second question is about the impact of peak carbon dioxide emissions. In general, promising to strive for peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 indicates our confidence in green development. Peaking carbon dioxide emissions will certainly promote energy production and consumption toward clean and low-carbon development, and we are working towards it. Energy consumption per unit GDP decreased by 3.1% in the first quarter, suggesting that we have taken the correct actions in this regard, which is very beneficial to the green development of the economy. Thank you.

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