SCIO press conference on national economic performance in H1 2023

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I have three questions. First, is the youth unemployment rate expected to fall next month? Second, the decline in real estate investment has expanded. How will it affect the growth of the real estate industry? Third, what is the sales volume of e-commerce live streaming in the first half of this year, and what is the year-on-year growth, and how much it accounts for in retail consumption? Thank you.

Fu Linghui:

Thank you for your question. With regard to the youth unemployment rate, from a seasonal and historical perspective, the youth unemployment rate will rise during the graduation season as college graduates gradually enter the labor market. Judging from this year's situation, in June, the youth unemployment rate was 21.3%, an overall increase compared with the previous month. Due to the mass influx of young graduates and young people entering the labor market we're likely to see next month, there may be an increase. Generally, as the graduation season passes, young people will gradually find employment. From a historical perspective, after August, the number will gradually decline. This is about youth employment.

The second question is about real estate. As I mentioned in the first question, in general, although the real estate market is still in the adjustment stage this year, the real estate market is gradually showing a stable trend compared with last year. In terms of investment, sales, and corporate funds, they have all improved to different degrees compared with last year. In the next stage, as the real estate market is gradually adjusted in place, the real estate market will gradually stabilize, and real estate investment will gradually return to a reasonable growth level.

The third question is about e-commerce livestreaming sales. I don't have the relevant information yet. You can contact the Information Office of the NBS after the conference to obtain relevant information. Thank you.

Nanfang Daily:

How do you view the performance of the domestic consumer market in the first half of the year, and how does consumption play a role in driving the economy? What is the expected trend in the next stage? Thank you.

Fu Linghui:

Thank you for your question. Consumption is also a matter of great interest to everyone. In the first half of the year, domestic consumption recovery was gaining steam. Since the beginning of this year, as the economy and society have fully returned to normal, economic recovery has improved, consumption scenarios have expanded, consumption promotion policies have taken effect, residents' consumption has steadily expanded, and market sales growth has accelerated. In the first half of the year, the total retail sales of social consumer goods exceeded 20 trillion yuan, reaching 22.8 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 8.2%, growing much faster than last year. From the perspective of per capita consumption expenditure of residents, the national per capita consumption expenditure in the first half of the year saw a nominal year-on-year growth of 8.4%, 5.9 percentage points faster than the same period of the previous year. It mainly has the following features.

First, service consumption grew rapidly, and travel and contact consumption grew relatively well. With the recovery of various service consumption scenarios, residents' service consumption expenditures have increased, and catering, transportation, and tourism consumption have grown rapidly. In the first half of the year, the national residents' per capita service consumption expenditure increased by 12.7% year on year, which was significantly faster than the growth rate of all consumption expenditures, among which, transportation expenditure increased by 12.9%. In the first half of the year, the national catering revenue increased by 21.4% year on year and the operating passenger traffic increased by 56.3% year on year. During the Dragon Boat Festival this year, the number of domestic tourists and tourism revenue increased by 32.3% and 44.5%, respectively.

Second, the sales of commodities grew steadily, and the sales of upgraded goods grew rapidly. While service consumption is recovering rapidly, commodity consumption is expanding steadily, with sales of commodities that meet the developmental needs of residents growing remarkably. In the first half of the year, retail sales of goods increased by 6.8% year on year, and 80% of retail sales of enterprises above designated size maintained growth. Among them, the retail sales of upgraded commodities, such as gold-silver jewelry, sports and entertainment products, increased by 17.5% and 10.5% year on year, respectively. Consumption of bulk commodities, such as automobiles, continued to grow. In the first half of the year, the retail sales of automobiles above designated size increased by 6.8% year on year.

The third is the growth of new drivers of consumption and the expansion of green consumption and digital consumption. With the change in residents' consumption concept, the policy of promoting consumption upgrading has delivered, and consumption has continued to gather new momentum. Sales of green smart products grew rapidly. In the first half of the year, sales of new energy passenger vehicles exceeded 3 million, a year-on-year increase of 37.3%. Retail sales of low-energy household appliances and audio-visual equipment for units above the designated size increased by more than 20% year on year. Big data monitoring shows that during the 6.18 shopping festival, the turnover of smart home appliances and audio-visual equipment grew much faster. With the promotion of new business models such as live streaming sales and instant retail, online retail sales have grown rapidly. In the first half of the year, online retail sales of physical goods increased by 10.8% year on year.

Fourth, the potential in cultural and entertainment consumption has been released, and the rural market is picking up. With the orderly recovery of offline consumption scenarios, sports events, concerts, theater performances, and other recreational and sports activities have increased, driving the expansion of consumption. In the first half of the year, national per capita cultural and entertainment expenditure of residents increased by 38.5% year on year in nominal terms. The national box office increased by 52.9% year on year, and attendance increased by 51.8%. At the same time, rural revitalization is advancing steadily, and the rural consumer market remains active. In the first half of the year, the retail sales of consumer goods in rural areas increased by 8.4% year on year, faster than that in urban areas, and the retail sales of cosmetics and gold-silver jewelry in units above designated size in rural areas also grew faster than urban areas. The development of rural e-commerce is accelerating. Big data monitoring shows that the growth rate of online retail sales in rural areas during the 618 (June 18) shopping festival was faster than that of all online retail sales.

In general, the consumption potential was gradually released in the first half of the year, and the recovery of consumption showed positive results, which promoted economic development and improvement of people's livelihood. From the perspective of the whole year, there are many favorable conditions to support the growth of consumption, and consumption is expected to continue to expand. One is the huge consumption potential. At present, China is experiencing a rapid upgrade in its consumption structure. With the steady advancement of urbanization, effective implementation of rural revitalization, and continuous improvement in consumption-related infrastructure, all these factors are conducive to the release of consumption potential. The second is the gradual increase in consumption capacity. Since the beginning of this year, the economic recovery and the employment situation have improved, and residents' income has continued to increase, which is conducive to enhancing residents' consumption capacity and willingness to consume. Third, the consumption environment continued to improve. The economy and society have fully returned to normal. Consumption scenarios have continued to expand, and new ones have continued to emerge, bringing vitality to the recovery of consumption. At the same time, various regions and departments are actively promulgating and implementing policies to promote consumption and maintain a good consumption order, which is conducive to enhancing consumer confidence. It should also be noted that the new consumption growth points represented by green consumption and smart product consumption are gradually forming, which will help promote positive developments in consumption.

In the next stage, to further release the consumption potential, we must do everything possible to increase the income of urban and rural residents, continue to implement consumption promotion policies, optimize the consumption environment, increase the supply of high-quality consumption products, cultivate and expand emerging consumption, and promote stable, sustainable, and healthy economic development. Thank you.

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