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

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Third, we saw a rapid development of new growth drivers. In the first quarter, the high-tech manufacturing industry above designated size grew by 31.2% year-on-year, with an average increase of 12.3% over two years. The added value of the equipment manufacturing industry increased by 39.9% year-on-year, while the two-year average growth rate was 9.7%. These two growth rates are faster than the overall growth rate of all industries above designated size. Investment in the high-tech industry increased by 37.3% year-on-year, with an average growth rate of 9.9% over two years, which was 7 percentage points higher than the total investment. The output of smart low-carbon products has grown rapidly. In the first quarter, the output of new energy vehicles, industrial robots, and microcomputer equipment increased by 3.1 times, 1.1 times, and 73.6% respectively year-on-year, and the average growth rate over the two years exceeded double digits. New business forms and models continue to emerge. New models such as live-streaming e-commerce, online diagnosis and treatment, and telecommuting are developing well, and online and offline integration is speeding up. The online retail sales of physical goods in the first quarter increased by 25.8% year-on-year, with a two-year average increase of 15.4%, accounting for 21.9% of total consumer goods sales.

Fourth, quality and efficiency have been steadily improved. Let's first look at corporate profits. From January to February, the total profits for industrial enterprises above designated size increased by 1.79 times year-on-year, with an average increase of 31.2% over two years; service industry enterprises above designated size turned losses into profits, achieving a total profit of 169 billion yuan, compared to losing money in the same period last year. Residents' income continued to increase. In the first quarter, the national average per capita disposable income increased by 13.7% year-on-year in real terms, with a two-year average growth rate at 4.5%. Meanwhile, the income of rural residents grew faster than that of urban residents. Additionally, energy consumption per unit of GDP continued to decline, with preliminary calculations showing that energy consumption per unit of GDP in the first quarter fell by 3.1% year-on-year.

Fifth, market expectations are stable and improving. In March, China's Manufacturing PMI was 51.9%, an increase of 1.3 percentage points from the previous month, and was within the boom range for 13 consecutive months; the non-manufacturing business activity index was 56.3%, an increase of 4.9 percentage points; the composite PMI output index was 55.3%, an increase of 3.7 percentage points.

Judging from the above five aspects, we can see that the economic recovery in the first quarter of this year continued and that positive factors are accumulating. At the same time, we also understand that the international pandemic is still raging, the international environment is still complex and severe, the foundation for domestic economic recovery is not yet solid, and some service industries and small and micro-enterprises continue to face additional difficulties with their production and operations. In these aspects, we must continue to follow the deployments of the Central Economic Work Conference and the government work report to further increase the efforts to help enterprises out of difficulties; maintain continuity, stability, and sustainability of macroeconomic policies; and promote steady economic recovery. Thank you.

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