Growth in­di­ca­tors for Au­gust im­prove

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By XIN ZHIMING and WANG YANFEI

China has no worry of fall­ing into a state of stagfla­tion — eco­nomic growth stag­na­tion plus high in­fla­tion — amid im­prov­ing growth-re­lated in­di­ca­tors in Au­gust, the Na­tional Bureau of Sta­tis­tics said on Fri­day.

“(The state of) stagfla­tion is nonex­is­tent,” said Mao Shengy­ong, spokesman for the NBS, af­ter the bureau re­leased growth-re­lated data for Au­gust that was bet­ter than ex­pected.

China’s eco­nomic fun­da­men­tals re­mained sound as in­di­ca­tors such as in­dus­trial out­put and re­tail sales growth picked up in Au­gust, the NBS data showed.

Re­tail sales rose by 9 per­cent year-on-year last month, 0.2 per­cent­age point higher than in July.

In­dus­trial out­put posted steady growth in the same month, up by 6.1 per­cent year-on-year, ac­cel­er­at­ing by 0.1 per­cent­age point over July, the data showed.

But fixed-as­set in­vest­ment growth fell to 5.3 per­cent in the Jan­uary-Au­gust pe­riod, 0.2 per­cent­age point lower than in the first seven months.

The job mar­ket re­mained sta­ble, the NBS said. The ur­ban sur­veyed un­em­ploy­ment rate was 5 per­cent in Au­gust, down by 0.1 per­cent­age point com­pared with July, the data showed.

Mao said at a news brief­ing that Au­gust data showed the coun­try’s eco­nomic fun­da­men­tals re­mained sound, and ef­forts should be made to fur­ther pro­mote the high­qual­ity de­vel­op­ment of the Chi­nese econ­omy.

The out­put growth of high­tech and emerg­ing in­dus­tries, such as equipment man­u­fac­tur­ing and strate­gi­cally im­por­tant new in­dus­tries, was sig­nif­i­cantly higher than that of over­all in­dus­trial out­put, the NBS said. High­tech man­u­fac­tur­ing out­put ex­panded by 11.9 per­cent in Au­gust year-on-year, while

out­put of new en­ergy ve­hi­cles in­creased by 56 per­cent.

China’s con­sumer in­fla­tion rose by 2.3 per­cent in Au­gust, com­pared with 2.1 per­cent in July, trig­ger­ing con­cerns that it may fur­ther strengthen in the com­ing months. Mao of the NBS said such con­cerns are un­nec­es­sary, be­cause the surge in prices in Au­gust was mainly caused by sea­sonal fac­tors, and non­food prices re­mained sta­ble.

Mean­while, eco­nomic growth has been sta­ble, stand­ing be­tween 6.7 per­cent and 6.9 per­cent in the past 12 con­sec­u­tive quar­ters, in­di­cat­ing that the coun­try will not face the danger of stagfla­tion, Mao said.

An­a­lysts said that as the ef­fect of the coun­try’s fi­nan­cial tight­en­ing since last year is grad­u­ally un­fold­ing, the econ­omy will face some down­ward growth pres­sure in the com­ing two to three quar­ters.

The Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sci­ences said in a yearly blue­book on listed com­pa­nies, re­leased on Tues­day, that China’s GDP growth would slow to about 6.6 per­cent this year from 6.9 per­cent in 2017 due to lend­ing con­trac­tion and ex­ter­nal fac­tors, such as the on­go­ing China-US trade dis­putes, ris­ing oil prices and US in­ter­est rate hikes.

“The econ­omy still faces the pres­sure of down­ward move­ment,” said Zhao Wei, an an­a­lyst at Changjiang Se­cu­ri­ties. “The au­thor­i­ties have taken tar­geted mea­sures to sta­bi­lize growth.”

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