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National Bureau of Statistics data shows technology an engine of growth for Chinese economy

According to Xinhua news agency, key economic indicators for this year’s January to May period showed that the Chinese economy has been expanding in a steady manner with new impetus for so-called “high-quality development”.

Latest economic data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) of China showed that China’s industrial output has expanded 6.8% year-on-year in May, 0.3% points higher than the same period last year, while the figure for the first five months came in at 6.9%, also faster than 2017.

The sector-by-sector breakdown of the NBS figures also serves to indicate changes in the country’s economic structure and points to emerging industries.

According to Mr Wen Jianwu, Head of NBS’s department of Industrial Statistics, industrial output of high-tech and equipment manufacturing sectors grew 12% and 9.3% respectively in the first five months of 2018.

NBS data also showed that the information communication, software and information technology services sectors registered growth above 30%.

At the same time, according to Mr Zhang Liqun, researcher with the State Council’s Development Research Centee, production of new energy vehicles, integrated circuits, and robots grew by 56.7%, 17.2%, and 35.1% respectively in May alone. He said that these figures are a testimony to the effectiveness of China’s ongoing supply-side structural reform.

Economic indicators for May reflected China’s continuing stable and positive economic performance, which is more about high-quality development, Mr Zhang also said.

According to Xinhua, “high-quality development means the Chinese economy will focus on quality and efficiency rather than pace, and medium-to-high growth will feature an improved economic structure and new growth engines”.

Fuelled by rapidly expanding internet and big data industries, the Chinese server market has become the main driving force behind a strong global recovery, with sales up 67.4% year on year in the first quarter.

Emerging service industries, led by internet-related sectors, contributed 56.8% to the growth in service sector production last month, 17.9% points higher than the same period last year, according to Mr Xu Jianyi, Head of the NBS Service Industry Department.

China has entered a new phase of consumption upgrades, rising demands have strongly boosted the growth of service industries, Xu said, citing prosperity-denoting business activity indexes in sectors including internet software and telecommunication.

NBS spokesperson Mr Mao Shengyong said China’s stable and positive economic performance will continue throughout the year thanks to increased contribution from consumption, emerging new dynamics and more vitality unleashed by reform and opening-up.

“As long as China gives full play to domestic demand, it will achieve steady and relatively fast economic growth even with some external uncertainties,” he said.

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