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ECONOMY: Historically low growth levels, but some sectors are doing well

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Magazine - 2019 August

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Historically low growth levels,

but some sectors are doing well

By Morgan Brady

BT 201908 ECONOMY 03Main economic growth numbers released from the Chinese Statistical Bureau were a cause for alarm. The country reported the weakest economic growth in 27 years (since 1992). In the second quarter of the current year, the economy grew at a rate of 6.2%, according to the State Council Information Office. Growth in the first two quarters stood at 6.4%.
 

Analysts expect that the economy will weaken further in the second half. A major factor behind this is the weakening international demand. Despite this, many economists still expect an annual growth rate of over 6 percentage points. Political stability can help to stem the slowdown.
 

The statistical bureau in China said that the economy is facing a complex situation with increasing uncertainties. There are renewed downward pressures on the economy. The government is expected to increase its intervention. The trade dispute between the US and China has not seen any improvements recently, as no solutions or agreements were reached despite the previous optimism, the media hype, and the recent trade truce.

BT 201908 ECONOMY 05中国统计局公布的主要经济增长数据令人震惊。通报了27年来最弱的经济增长(自1992年以来)。根据国务院新闻办公室的数据,今年第二季度经济增长率为6.2%。前两个季度的增长率为6.4%。
 

分析师预计下半年经济将进一步走软。中国统计局表示,经济面临复杂局面,不确定性增加。经济再次面临下行压力。预计政府将加大干预力度。
 

Performance of different sectors of the economy

BT 201908 ECONOMY 07Looking at individual sectors, some performed very well. For example, In the first half of 2019, the value added of crop farming grew by 3.9% year-on-year, 0.5% slower than the first quarter. The overall output of summer grain was 141.74 million tons, an increase of 2.93 million tons over last year, up by 2.1%, hitting the highest record as that of 2017. Planting areas of cotton and beans increased.
 

Industrial production was steady in general, and high-tech manufacturing accounted for a larger share. In the first half, the year-on-year growth rate of total value added of the industrial enterprises above the designated size was 6.0%. The value added of the state holding enterprises went up by 5.0% year-on-year; that of share-holding enterprises up by 7.3%; and enterprises funded by foreign investors or investors from Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan up by 1.4%.

BT 201908 ECONOMY 08不同行业的表现不同

从各个行业来看,有些行业表现非常好。例如,2019年上半年,农作物种植业增加值同比增长3.9%,创2017年最高纪录。棉花和豆类种植面积增加。
 

Services sector maintained growth

The services sector also grew well maintaining its good momentum. The value added of information transmission, software, and information technology services, and the value added of leasing and business services, of transport, storage and postal services, and of financial intermediation grew by 20.6%, 7.8%, 7.3%, and 7.3% year-on-year respectively in the first half.

BT 201908 ECONOMY 09服务业保持增长

服务业也保持良好势头。信息传输,软件和信息技术服务的增值,以及租赁和商业服务,运输,仓储和邮政服务以及金融中介的上半年同比增值分别增长了20.6%,7.8%,7.3%和7.3%。
 

Online sales flourishing

Online retail sales also maintained growth, as in the first half of 2019, the total retail sales of consumer goods reached 19,521.0 billion yuan, up by 8.4% year-on-year.

BT 201908 ECONOMY 10网上销售蓬勃发展

网上零售额也保持增长,2019年上半年,社会消费品零售总额达到19521亿元,同比增长8.4%。
 

Imports and exports also grew

Imports and exports grew slightly, as the total value of imports and exports of goods was 14,667.5 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 3.9%. The total value of exports was 7,952.1 billion yuan, up by 6.1%; the total value of imports was 6,715.5 billion yuan, up by 1.4%.

BT 201908 ECONOMY 0Workers at the Chinese port of Qingdao. Chinese exports are likely to face tougher months ahead进口和出口也增长

进出口略有增长,货物进出口总值146,657亿元,同比增长3.9%。出口总值7,952.1亿元,增长6.1%;进口总值67155亿元,增长1.4%。
 

Producer price index

The producer price index for means of production decreased by 0.3%. As for the components, producer prices for mining and quarrying industry increased by 4.5%, prices of raw materials industry decreased by 2.1%, and prices of manufacturing and processing industry remained unchanged from the previous year. As for consumer goods, producer prices for consumer goods increased by 0.9% year-on-year.

BT 201908 ECONOMY 11生产者价格指数

生产资料生产者价格指数下降0.3%。至于成分,采矿业和采石业的生产者价格上涨4.5%,原材料价格下跌2.1%,制造业和加工业价格与上年持平。消费品方面,消费品生产者价格同比上涨0.9%。
 

Government intervention is likely

While the growth in most sectors was positive, international pressures are still noticeable. Most central banks around the world are anticipating global slowdown and turning to their dovish monetary policy tools to stimulate their economies. The slowdown will likely affect the export-based businesses of China. As for the trade spat pressures, many factories have moved out of China to adapt. Yet, much remains to be done.
 

Analysts have said that the People’s Bank of China still has room to act. It can provide stimulus to the economy to ensure steady growth, or at least ensure that the economy does not slow down very quickly. Many expect that the Chinese government will not allow the quarterly growth to fall below 6.0%, especially that Chinese President Xi Jinping last year said that the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China in 2019 would be celebrated with outstanding economic performance.

BT 201908 ECONOMY 12政府可能会进行干预

虽然大多数部门的增长是积极的,但国际压力仍然很明显。世界各地的大多数中央银行都在预测全球经济放缓,并转向其鸽派货币政策工具来刺激经济。
 

分析师表示,中国人民银行仍有行动空间。它可以为经济提供刺激,以确保稳定增长,或者至少确保经济不会很快放缓。
 

Conclusion

Growth numbers are at historically low levels, yet, many sectoral indicators appear to be healthy. The Chinese government still has much room to manoeuvre and remain on track to achieve its ambitious growth goals. However, the global economic environment appears to be challenging, which can make the government’s task harder. The US is not budging on its demands when it comes to resolving the trade war. This is causing tensions among investors and weighing down on global economies. Asian economies are usually the first to take a hit when this happens, as they are densely connected with the Chinese economy. Nonetheless, for now, it is still early to question the resilience of the second largest economy in the world.

BT 201908 ECONOMY 04

结论

增长数字处于历史低位,但许多部门指标看似健康。中国政府仍有很大的回旋余地,并有望实现其雄心勃勃的增长目标。然而,全球经济环境似乎具有挑战性,这可能使政府的任务更加艰巨。

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