China econ­omy sta­ble as re­form sus­tains growth

Shanghai Daily - - TOP NEWS - Huang Yix­uan

CHINA’S econ­omy en­joyed steady growth in May, largely due to solid in­dus­trial out­put and in­vest­ment in the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor.

The in­dus­trial out­put rose 6.8 per­cent year on year last month, 0.3 per­cent­age points faster than the growth a year ago but 0.2 per­cent­age points slower than a month ear­lier, data from the Na­tional Bureau of Sta­tis­tics showed yes­ter­day.

For the Jan­uary-May pe­riod, in­dus­trial out­put grew 6.9 per­cent, flat from that in the first four months of the year.

The fun­da­men­tals of in­dus­trial pro­duc­tion con­tin­ued to im­prove and emerg­ing in­dus­tries were de­vel­op­ing rapidly, said Jiang Yuan, in­dus­trial statis­ti­cian at the bureau.

In terms of sec­tors, 36 of the 41 ma­jor sec­tors in in­dus­try main­tained the growth mo­men­tum. Among them, elec­tron­ics, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, spe­cial equip­ment, com­put­ers, tobacco and fuel gas all posted dou­ble-digit growth.

Out­put of the equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try and the high-tech­nol­ogy in­dus­try ad­vanced 9.4 per­cent and 12.3 per­cent, re­spec­tively, last month. The two sec­tors also grew 9.3 per­cent and 12 per­cent, re­spec­tively, for the Jan­uary-May pe­riod.

“The ro­bust growth in emerg­ing in­dus­tries in­di­cates the ac­cel­er­ated trans­fer­ring of eco­nomic mo­men­tums with the deep­en­ing of the sup­ply-side struc­tural re­forms,” said Mao Shengy­ong, spokesman for the sta­tis­tics bureau.

“In ser­vices in­dus­tries, the mod­ern ser­vice sec­tor posted stronger devel­op­ment,” Mao added.

Mao also stressed that con­sumer de­mand con­tin­ued to es­ca­late, with in­vest­ment in man­u­fac­tur­ing growing at a faster pace.

The to­tal retail sales of so­cial con­sumer goods rose 8.5 per­cent year on year to 3.04 tril­lion yuan (US$475 bil­lion) in May, 0.9 per­cent­age points slower than April.

But among them, goods re­lated to con­sumer up­grad­ing sus­tained rapid growth. Retail sales of com­mu­ni­ca­tion equip­ment, cos­met­ics and petroleum rose 12.2 per­cent, 10.3 per­cent and 14 per­cent, re­spec­tively.

The coun­try’s fixed-as­set in­vest­ment ex­panded 6.1 per­cent year on year in the first five months, down from 7 per­cent for the Jan­uary-April pe­riod.

“The big­gest drag on FAI here is in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment,” said Betty Wang, se­nior China econ­o­mist at Aus­tralia and New Zealand Bank­ing Group.

But Wang sees it as a rel­a­tively easy sec­tor for the gov­ern­ment to in­ject stim­u­lus.

“Lo­cal gov­ern­ments are more re­strained by the crack­down on debt, but if there is a very large down­side risk to the econ­omy, the gov­ern­ment is fully ca­pa­ble of prop­ping it up again,” she said.

In May, the job mar­ket re­mained steady, with the sur­veyed un­em­ploy­ment rate in ur­ban ar­eas at 4.8 per­cent, down 0.1 per­cent­age points from April and 0.1 per­cent­age points lower than a year ear­lier. The ur­ban sur­veyed un­em­ploy­ment rate in 31 ma­jor cities was 4.7 per­cent, un­changed from the pre­vi­ous month.

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