BEIJING — Key economic indicators for the Jan-May period have offered clear snapshots of a steady Chinese economy expanding with new impetus for high-quality development.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), China’s industrial output expanded 6.8 percent year on year in May, 0.3 percentage points higher than the same period last year, while the figure for the first five months came in at 6.9 percent, also faster than 2017.
A sector-by-sector breakdown of the NBS figures reveals improved economic structure and new dynamics in emerging industries.
Industrial output of high-tech and equipment manufacturing sectors grew 12 percent and 9.3 percent, respectively, in the first five months, according to Wen Jianwu, head of NBS’s department of industrial statistics.
Wen said the fact that high-tech industries make up a larger share of industrial added value of designated large enterprises is a sign of more favorable conditions for stable and positive performance of China’s industrial economy.
In May alone, production of new energy vehicles, integrated circuits, and robots grew 56.7 percent, 17.2 percent, and 35.1 percent, respectively, a testimony to the effectiveness of China’s ongoing supply-side structural reform, according to Zhang Liqun, researcher with the State Council’s Development Research Center.
Economic indicators for May reflected China’s continuing stable and positive economic performance, which is more about high-quality development, Zhang said.
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.
NBS data also showed the service sector picked up pace in May, with its production index up 8.1 percent, staying above 8 percent for five straight months. The information communication, software and information technology services sectors registered growth above 30 percent.
Fueled 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 percent year on year in the first quarter, according to research firm IDC.
In the first three months, leading domestic server-maker Inspur enjoyed a 77.5 percent surge in shipments, well witnessing the new dynamics in China’s modern service industry.
Emerging service industries, led by internet-related sectors, contributed 56.8 percent to the growth in service sector production last month, 17.9 percentage points higher than the same period last year, according to 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 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.
China’s economy had sustained a growth rate between 6.7 percent and 6.9 percent for 11 consecutive quarters as of the end of March, evidence of its remarkable resilience and potential. Analysts expect the steadiness to continue in the later half of the year as China steers its economy toward high-quality development.