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China's Economy Had a Good Start In the First Quarter of 2016
2016/04/19

National Bureau of Statistics of China

15 April 2016

Since the beginning of 2016, in face with complicated international situation and mounting downward pressure of economic development, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the State Council, together with people all over the country, adapted to and led the New Normal, adopted scientific measures to stabilize economic growth, enhance restructuring, benefit people and control risks, and stepped up efforts to promote structural reform on the supply side while achieving an appropriate expansion of aggregate demand. As a result, the overall performance of national economy continued to be stable and move in a positive direction, with structural adjustment deepened, new impetus accumulated and positive changes showed on major indicators. The national economy enjoyed a good start.

According to the preliminary estimation, the gross domestic product (GDP) of China in the first quarter of 2016 was 15,852.6 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 6.7 percent at comparable prices. The value added of the primary industry was 880.3 billion yuan, up by 2.9 percent year-on-year; that of the secondary industry was 5,951.0 billion yuan, up by 5.8 percent; and that of the tertiary industry was 9,021.4 billion yuan, up by 7.6 percent. Calculated at 2015 prices, the GDP in the first quarter increased by 985.1 billion yuan year-on-year, 22.2 billion yuan more than that in the same period of last year.

1. Agricultural Production Remained Stable.

According to the planting intention survey conducted among more than 110 thousand rural households, the planting area for rice would go up by 0.3 percent; wheat grow by 0.4 percent; corn drop by 0.9 percent and cotton down by 18.8 percent. In the first quarter of this year, the total output of pork, beef, mutton and poultry reached 22.44 million tons, a year-on-year decrease of 3.1 percent. The output of pork was 14.66 million tons, down by 5.9 percent.

2. The Growth of Industrial Production Went Stabilized.

The total value added of the industrial enterprises above designated size in the first quarter was up by 5.8 percent at comparable prices, 0.3 percentage point lower than that in the previous year, or 0.4 percentage point higher than that in the first two months of this year. An analysis by types of ownership showed that the value added of state holding enterprises went down by 0.1 percent; collective enterprises grew by 2.4 percent; share-holding enterprises up by 7.2 percent; and a 3.3 percent growth for enterprises funded by foreign investors or investors from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. The value added of mining industry was up by 2.1 percent year-on-year; manufacturing up by 6.5 percent and the production and supply of electricity, heat, gas and water up by 2.6 percent. Industrial development was moving towards the medium-high level. In the first quarter, the value added of high-tech industry and equipment manufacturing industry grew by 9.2 percent and 7.5 percent respectively, or 3.4 percentage points and 1.7 percentage points higher than that of the industrial enterprises above designated size, accounting for 12.1 percent and 32.4 percent of the total value added of the industrial enterprises above designated size, 1.1 percentage points and 1.7 percentage points higher than that in the same period of 2015. In the first quarter, the sales ratio of industrial enterprises above designated size was 97.3 percent. The export delivery value of the industrial enterprises above designated size reached 2,543.9 billion yuan, down by 3.0 percent. In March, the total value added of the industrial enterprises above designated size was up by 6.8 percent year-on-year, or 0.64 percent month-on-month.

In the first two months of this year, the profits made by industrial enterprises above designated size stood at 780.7 billion yuan, up by 4.8 percent year-on-year. The costs for per-hundred-yuan turnover of primary activities of the industrial enterprises above designated size reached 85.26 yuan, and the profit rate from primary activities was 5.12 percent.

3. The Investment in Fixed Assets Grew Steadily and Moderately.

In the first quarter of 2016, the investment in fixed assets (excluding rural households) was 8,584.3 billion yuan, a nominal year-on-year growth of 10.7 percent or a real growth of 13.8 percent after deducting price factors. The growth rate was 0.7 percentage point higher than that in 2015, or 0.5 percentage point higher than that in the first two months of this year. Of the total, the investment by state holding enterprises reached 2,912.0 billion yuan, an increase of 23.3 percent; private investment reached 5,319.7 billion yuan, up by 5.7 percent, accounting for 62.0 percent of the total investment. The investment in the primary industry reached 194.9 billion yuan, up by 25.5 percent year-on-year; that in the secondary industry was 3,366.4 billion yuan, up by 7.3 percent; and that in the tertiary industry was 5,023.0 billion yuan, up by 12.6 percent. The amount in place for investment in the first quarter of 2016 was 10,925.0 billion yuan, up by 6.4 percent. Specifically, the state budget went up by 16.9 percent, domestic loans grew by 13.9 percent, self-raising funds decreased by 0.2 percent and foreign investment was down by 25.6 percent. The total planned investment in newly-started projects was 8,140.3 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 39.5 percent. In March, the investment in fixed assets (excluding rural households) went up by 0.86 percent month-on-month.

In the first quarter of 2016, the total investment in real estate development was 1,767.7 billion yuan, a nominal year-on-year growth of 6.2 percent, or a real growth of 9.1 percent after deducting price factors. The growth rate was 5.2 percentage points higher than that in 2015, or 3.2 percentage points higher than that in the first two months of this year. Of the total, the investment in residential buildings went up by 4.6 percent. Floor space of houses newly started in the first quarter was 282.81 million square meters, up by 19.2 percent. Specifically, the floor space of residential buildings started in the first quarter increased by 14.8 percent. The floor space of commercial buildings sold reached 242.99 million square meters, up by 33.1 percent. Of this total, that of residential buildings went up by 35.6 percent. The sales of commercial buildings in the first quarter were 1,852.4 billion yuan, grew by 54.1 percent. Of this total, that of residential buildings grew by 60.3 percent. In the first quarter of this year, the land space purchased by real estate development enterprises was 35.77 million square meters, down by 11.7 percent. By the end of March, the floor space of commercial buildings for sale reached 735.16 million square meters, up by 13.1 percent. The funds in place for real estate development enterprises in the first quarter reached 3,199.2 billion yuan, up by 14.7 percent.

4. Market Sales Kept Steady Growth.

In the first quarter of 2016, the total retail sales of consumer goods reached 7,802.4 billion yuan, a nominal year-on-year increase of 10.3 percent (a real growth of 9.7 percent after deducting price factors), which was 0.4 percentage point lower than that in the previous year, or 0.1 percentage point higher than that in the first two months of this year. Specifically, the retail sales of the units above designated size stood at 3,462.5 billion yuan, up by 8.0 percent. Analyzed by different areas, the retail sales in urban areas reached 6,692.0 billion yuan, up by 10.2 percent, and that in rural areas stood at 1,110.5 billion yuan, up by 11.0 percent. Grouped by consumption patterns, the total income of catering industry was 830.2 billion yuan, up by 11.3 percent year-on-year; and retail sales of goods were 6,972.2 billion yuan, up by 10.2 percent. In particular, the retail sales of units above designated size reached 3,257.9 billion yuan, up by 8.0 percent. In March, the total retail sales of consumer goods grew by 10.5 percent year-on-year (a real growth of 9.7 percent after deducting price factors), or 0.85 percent month-on-month.

In the first quarter of 2016, the online retail sales reached 1,025.1 billion yuan, up by 27.8 percent year-on-year, among which the retail sales of physical goods were 824.1 billion yuan, an increase of 25.9 percent, accounting for 10.6 percent of the total retail sales of consumer goods.

5. Total Value of Imports and Exports Dropped.

The total value of imports and exports in the first quarter of 2016 was 5,214.4 billion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 5.9 percent. The total value of exports was 3,012.3 billion yuan, dropped by 4.2 percent; and that of imports was 2,202.1 billion yuan, down by 8.2 percent. The trade surplus was 810.2 billion yuan. In March, the total value of imports and exports was 1,905.6 billion yuan, up by 8.6 percent year-on-year. The total value of exports was 1,050.1 billion yuan, up by 18.7 percent; and that of imports was 855.5 billion yuan, down by 1.7 percent.

6. Consumer Price Grew Moderately.

In the first quarter of 2016, the consumer price went up by 2.1 percent year-on-year. Specifically, the price went up by 2.1 percent in urban areas and 2.0 percent in rural areas. Grouped by commodity categories, prices for food, tobacco and liquor grew by 5.1 percent; clothing up by 1.7 percent; housing went up by 1.3 percent; articles and services for daily use grew by 0.4 percent; transportation and communication decreased by 2.0 percent; education, culture and recreation grew by 1.3 percent; health care up by 2.9 percent; and other articles and services grew by 0.6 percent. In terms of food, tobacco and liquor prices, that for grain grew by 0.6 percent, pork up by 24.1 percent and fresh vegetables up by 27.3 percent. In March, the consumer price went up by 2.3 percent year-on-year, or down by 0.4 percent month-on-month. In the first quarter, the producer prices for industrial products dropped by 4.8 percent year-on-year. In March, the prices went down by 4.3 percent year-on-year, or up by 0.5 percent month-on-month. In the first quarter, the purchasing prices for industrial producers went down by 5.8 percent year-on-year. In March, the prices dropped by 5.2 percent year-on-year, or up by 0.3 percent month-on-month.

7. Residents’ Income Increased Steadily.

In the first quarter of 2016, the national per capita disposable income of residents was 6,619 yuan, a nominal growth of 8.7 percent year-on-year, or a real increase of 6.5 percent after deducting price factors. In terms of permanent residence, the per capita disposable income of urban households was 9,255 yuan, a nominal growth of 8.0 percent, or a real growth of 5.8 percent. The per capita disposable income of rural residents was 3,578 yuan, up by 9.1 percent nominally, or 7.0 percent in real terms. The per capita income of urban households was 2.59 times that of the rural households, a decrease of 0.02 as compared with the same period of the previous year. The median of national per capita disposable income was 5,670 yuan, a nominal increase of 8.7 percent. By the end of February, the number of rural migrant workers was 167.99 million, increased by 4.68 million as compared with the same period of last year, up by 2.9 percent. The average monthly income of migrant workers was 3,273 yuan, up by 9.1 percent year-on-year.

8. Structural Adjustment Accelerated.

The industrial structure was further optimized. In the first quarter, the value added of the tertiary industry accounted for 56.9 percent of the GDP, 2.0 percentage points higher as compared with that in the same period of last year, and 19.4 percentage points higher than that of the secondary industry. The balance of regional structure was strengthened. The value added of industries above designated size in the central and western regions increased by 7.0 percent and 7.3 percent respectively year-on-year, 0.7 percentage point and 1.0 percentage point higher than that of the eastern region. The investment in fixed assets (excluding rural households) in the central and western regions grew by 13.3 percent and 13.2 percent respectively, 2.3 percentage points and 2.2 percentage points higher than that of the eastern region. Energy conservation and consumption reduction continued to make new achievements. In the first quarter, the energy consumption per unit of GDP decreased by 5.3 percent year-on-year.

As a whole, the national economy in the first quarter of 2016 enjoyed sound development with the functioning of a series of policies and measures adopted by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council. Positive changes showed on major indicators and stability and progress was maintained in economic development. However, we must be aware that we are in a critical stage of transformation and upgrading as well as replacing old drivers of growth with new ones. Difficulties on structural adjustment persist and downward pressure on the economy can not be ignored. For the next step, in accordance with the decisions of the Central Economic Work Conference and the general arrangements in the Report on the Work of the Government, we must establish the concepts of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development, adhere to the guidelines of stable macro-policy, targeted industrial policy, flexible micro-policy, practical reform policy and solid social policy, accelerate the fostering of new driving forces for development, strengthen supply- side structural reform, increase effective demand, release the dividends of policies and consolidate the positive changes so as to ensure that the economy will operate within an appropriate range, maintain a medium-high rate of growth and move towards the medium-high end. By working to achieve all of these, we should get a good start in economic and social development during the period covered by the 13th Five Year Plan.

Notes:

1.To further promote the integration of China’s quarterly GDP accounting with international practices, the National Bureau of Statistics of China has implemented the reform on quarterly GDP estimation since the third quarter of 2015 by adopting quarterly estimation on a discrete basis and publishing the relative results.

2.The growth rate of gross domestic product, value added of industrial enterprises above designated size and its sub-items are real growth by using comparable prices. The growth rates of other indicators are nominal growth by using current prices unless otherwise specified.

3.Industrial enterprises above designated size are industrial enterprises with annual revenue from primary activities over 20 million yuan.

4.Units above designated size in total retail sales of consumer goods include wholesale enterprises, retail enterprises and lodging and catering enterprises with annual revenue from principle business over 20 million yuan, 5 million yuan and 2 million yuan respectively.

The online retail sales refer to the retail sales of goods and services realized through internet trading platforms (including self-built websites and third-party platforms). Goods and services include physical goods and non-physical goods (e.g. virtual goods and services).

The total retail sales of consumer goods include the online retail sales of physical goods, excluding that of non-physical goods.

5.The median of national per capita disposable income refers to the per capita disposable income of households which lies in the middle of all surveyed households ranked from low to high on the basis of per capita disposable income level.

6.Migrant workers refer to the rural labor force who obtained employment outside their registered towns and townships at the reference time of the survey.

7.The regional data are classified by the eastern, central, western and northeastern regions.

8.Data of imports and exports are from the General Administration of Customs.

9.Due to the rounding-off reasons, the subentries may not add up to the aggregate totals.

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