National Economy Showed a Steady Recovery in the First Two Months

  1. Recovery of Industrial Production Accelerated and Business Expectations Improved.

In the first two months, the total value added of the industrial enterprises above the designated size grew by 2.4 percent year on year, or 1.1 percentage points faster than that of December 2022; the average two-year growth was 4.9 percent. In terms of sectors, the value added of mining went up by 4.7 percent year on year, manufacturing up by 2.1 percent and the production and supply of electricity, thermal power, gas and water up by 2.4 percent. An analysis by types of ownership showed that the value added of state holding enterprises was up by 2.7 percent; that of share-holding enterprises was up by 4.3 percent; that of enterprises funded by foreign investors or investors from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan was down by 5.2 percent; and that of private enterprises was up by 2.0 percent. In term of products, the production of solar cells and new-energy vehicles grew by 40.8 percent and 16.3 percent respectively. In February, the total value added of the industrial enterprises above the designated size went up by 0.12 percent month on month. In February, the Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index stood at 52.6 percent, 2.5 percentage points higher than that of the previous month; the Production and Operation Expectation Index was 57.5 percent, up by 1.9 percentage points.

  1. Service Sector Rebounded Markedly and Contact-and-Gathering-Based Services Improved.

In first two months, the Index of Services Production grew by 5.5 percent year on year, while that of December 2022 was down by 0.8 percent; the average two-year growth was 4.8 percent. Specifically, that of information transmission, software and information technology services and that of financial intermediation grew by 9.3 percent and 7.6 percent year on year respectively; that of accommodation and catering, transportation, storage and post, and retails and wholesales grew by 11.6 percent, 4.2 percent and 3.0 percent respectively. In February, the Business Activity Index for Services was 55.6 percent, 1.6 percentage points higher than the previous months. Specifically, the Business Activity Index for road transportation, air transportation, post, accommodation, leasing and business services stayed within the high expansion range of 60.0 percent and above. From the perspective of market expectation, the Business Activity Expectation Index for Services was 64.8 percent, 0.5 percentage points higher than the previous month.

  1. Market Sales Switched from Decline to Increase and Consumption on Goods for Basic Living and Upgraded Goods Grew Fast.

In the first two months, the total retail sales of consumer goods reached 7,706.7 billion yuan, up by 3.5 percent year on year, while that of December 2022 was down by 1.8 percent; the average two-year growth was 5.1 percent. Analyzed by different areas, the retail sales of consumer goods in urban areas reached 6,679.6 billion yuan, up by 3.4 percent year on year; and that in rural areas reached 1,027.1 billion yuan, up by 4.5 percent. Grouped by consumption patterns, the retail sales of goods were 6,863.8 billion yuan, up by 2.9 percent; the income of catering was 842.9 billion yuan, up by 9.2 percent. The sales of basic living goods grew fast. The retail sales of grain, oil and food and that of clothes, shoes, hats and textiles by enterprises above the designated size went up by 9.0 percent and 5.4 percent respectively. The sale of certain upgraded goods accelerated. The retail sales of gold, silver and jewelry, and cosmetics by enterprises above the designated size went up by 5.9 percent and 3.8 percent respectively. The online retail sales of consumer goods was 2,054.4 billion yuan, up by 6.2 percent. Specifically, the online retail sales of physical goods were 1,747.6 billion yuan, up by 5.3 percent, accounting for 22.7 percent of the total retail sales of consumer good. In February, the total retail sales of consumer good dropped by 0.02 percent compared with that of the previous month.

  1. Investment in Fixed Assets Grew Steadily and Investment in High-Tech Industries Went up Rapidly.

In the first two months, the investment in fixed assets (excluding rural households) reached 5,357.7 billion yuan, up by 5.5 percent year on year, 0.4 percentage points higher than that of the year 2022; the average two-year growth was 8.8 percent. Specifically, the investment in infrastructure grew by 9.0 percent year on year, that in manufacturing grew by 8.1 percent, and that in real estate development declined by 5.7 percent. The floor space of commercial buildings sold was 151.33 million square meters, down by 3.6 percent; the total sales of commercial buildings were 1,544.9 billion yuan, down by 0.1 percent. By industry, the investment in the primary industry went up by 1.5 percent, that in the secondary industry up by 10.1 percent, and that in the tertiary industry up by 3.8 percent. The private investment went up by 0.8 percent. The investment in high-tech industries grew by 15.1 percent, of which the investment in high-tech manufacturing and high-tech services grew by 16.2 percent and 12.3 percent respectively. In terms of high-tech manufacturing, the investment in manufacturing of medical equipment, measuring instrument and meter and in manufacturing of electronic and communication equipment grew by 21.3 percent and 20.5 percent respectively. In terms of high-tech services, the investment in services for transformation of scientific and technological achievements and in research, development and design services went up by 65.1 percent and 16.9 percent respectively. The investment in social sectors grew by 8.1 percent. Specifically, the investment in health sector and education sector grew by 18.8 percent and 4.8 percent respectively. In February, the investment in fixed assets (excluding rural households) increased by 0.72 percent over that of the previous month.

  1. Imports and Exports of Goods Dropped Slightly and Trade Structure Continued to Optimize.

In the first two months, the total value of imports and exports of goods was 6,176.8 billion yuan, down by 0.8 percent year on year. The value of exports was 3,493.6 billion yuan, up by 0.9 percent, and the value of imports was 2,683.3 billion yuan, down by 2.9 percent. The trade balance was 810.3 billion yuan in surplus. The import and export of general trade went up by 1.2 percent, accounting for 64.9 percent of the total value of the imports and exports, 1.3 percentage points higher than that of the same period of the previous year. The imports and exports by private enterprises went up by 5.3 percent, accounting for 51.2 percent of the total value of the imports and exports, 3.0 percentage points higher than the same period of the previous year. The exports of mechanical and electrical products went up by 0.4 percent, accounting for 58.0 percent of the total value of exports.

  1. Employment was Generally Stable and Urban Surveyed Unemployment Rate was Basically Steady.

In the first two months, the urban surveyed unemployment rate averaged 5.6 percent. In February, the urban surveyed unemployment rate was 5.6 percent, 0.1 percentage points higher than that of the previous month. The surveyed unemployment rate of population with local household registration was 5.4 percent and that of population with non-local household registration was 5.9 percent, among which, the rate of the population with non-local agricultural household registration was 6.0 percent. Specifically, the surveyed unemployment rate of the population aged from 16 to 24 was 18.1 percent, and that of the population aged from 25 to 59 was 4.8 percent. Among the population aged from 25 to 59, the surveyed unemployment rates of the population with junior secondary school education or below, with senior secondary school education, with junior college education, with university education or above were 5.7 percent, 5.2 percent, 4.1 percent and 3.0 percent respectively. The urban surveyed unemployment rate in 31 major cities was 5.7 percent. The employees of enterprises worked 47.9 hours per week on average.

 Consumer Price Grew Mildly and Producer Prices for Industrial Products Dropped Year on Year.

In the first two months, the consumer price index (CPI) went up by 1.5 percent year on year. Grouped by commodity categories, prices for food, tobacco and alcohol went up by 3.4 percent year on year; clothing up by 0.6 percent; housing down by 0.1 percent; articles and services for daily use up by 1.5 percent; transportation and communication up by 1.0 percent; education, culture and recreation up by 1.8 percent; medical services and health care up by 0.9 percent; and other articles and services up by 2.9 percent. Among the prices for food, tobacco and alcohol, the price for fresh vegetables went up by 1.3 percent, grain up by 2.7 percent, pork up by 7.9 percent, and fresh fruits up by 10.8 percent. The core CPI excluding the prices of food and energy went up by 0.8 percent year on year. In January, the consumer price index went up by 2.1 percent year on year, or up by 0.8 percent month on month. In February, the consumer price index went up by 1.0 percent year on year, or down by 0.5 percent month on month.

In the first two months, the producer prices for industrial products went down by 1.1 percent year on year. In January, the producer prices for industrial products went down by 0.8 percent year on year or down by 0.4 percent month on month. In February, it went down by 1.4 percent year on year, or maintained the same level as that of the previous month. In the first two months, the purchasing prices for industrial producers dropped by 0.2 percent year on year.

Generally speaking, in the first two months, under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, as the Covid-19 prevention and control switched to the new phase in a rapid and steady way, the unimpeded economic flow was accelerated, production and demand improved notably, and the economy showed a steady recovery. However, the external environment is even more complex, inadequate demand remains prominent and the foundation for economic recovery is not solid yet. At the next stage, we must take Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as the guideline, fully implement the spirits of the 20th CPC National Congress, the second plenary session of the 20th CPC Central Committee and the Central Economic Work Conference, follow the overall arrangement of the Government Work Report, and make economic stability our top priority and pursue progress while ensuring stability. We must apply the new development philosophy in full, in the right way and in all fields of endeavor, accelerate efforts to create a new pattern of development, strive to promote high-quality development, and expedite the implementation of policies. We must boost the market confidence, advance the overall improvement of the economic performance and endeavor to achieve effective enhancement of quality and reasonable growth of quantity.

 

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