Listed here are some key figures from the Statistical Communique on the 2006 National Economic and Social Development, compiled by the National Bureau of Statistics and issued on February 28, which allow clearer insight into the year that just passed, 2006. They present a picture of better days, with lower energy consumption and higher economic growth and performance, a larger grain output and funds for scientific and technological research, as well as an increase in farmers' income and overall employment.
1. GDP up 10.7 percent
Preliminary calculations show that China's gross domestic product (GDP) hit 20,940.7 billion yuan in 2006, up 10.7 percent over the previous year.
At the end of last year, the total number of employed was 764 million, 5.75 million more than the end of 2005.
National tax revenue stood at 3,763.6 billion yuan (excluding tariffs, farmland use tax and deed tax), an increase of 21.9 percent.
2. Grain output up 2.8 percent
In 2006 China recorded a grain output of 497.46 million tons, rising 2.8 percent.
This is the first time that China's grain output has grown in three consecutive years since 1985, experts say, but it is still viewed as recovery growth considering that the basis for continuous growth is not particularly solid and supply generally falls short of demand.
Therefore, in this year's "No. 1 document", the CPC Central Committee insisted the nation work towards grain self-sufficiency, and proposed the gradual building-up of a grain security system in which supply is stable and operation is well coordinated, efficient and ongoing. For stable grain production, the state will continue its low-price grain purchase policy for key areas and strains.
3. Per capita net income of farmers up 7.4 percent
In 2006, the per capita net income of farmers was 3,587 yuan, rising 7.4 percent in real terms; the per capita disposable income of urban residents was 11,759 yuan, rising 10.4 percent in real terms. The Engel coefficient for rural households was 43 percent, and that for urban households was 35.8 percent.
At the end of last year, there were still 21.48 million people living below the poverty line in rural areas (earnings less than 693 yuan), 2.17 million less than at the end of 2005.
4. Total import/export volume up 23.8 percent
In 2006 China recorded an import/export trade value of US$1,760.7, up 23.8 percent from the previous year. There were 41,485 new enterprises established with foreign direct investment, down 5.8 percent; and US$69.47 billion was actually used in foreign direct investment, down 4.1 percent.
5. Foreign exchange reserves topped US$1 trillion
The country's foreign exchange reserves hit US$1,066.3 at the 2006 yearend, US$247.5 billion more than the previous year. The exchange rate stood at US$1 to 7.8087 RMB, 3.35 percent higher than at the end of 2005.
6. Energy consumption per unit of GDP dropped 1.23 percent
Preliminary statistics show a total energy consumption of 2.46 billion tons of coal equivalent, up 9.3 percent. Energy consumption per 10,000 yuan of GDP was equivalent to 1.21 tons of coal, down 1.23 percent, the first decrease since 2003.
While energy consumption per unit of GDP increased 0.8 percent in the first half of last year, it began to decrease in the third quarter, securing a favorable situation for the whole year,
This favorable turn was the result of China's energy-saving efforts, but a more arduous tasks remains as the nation failed to reach the target of 4 percent set at the year's beginning.
The total discharge of major pollutants rose. The figure for chemical oxygen demand (COD) stood at 14.31 million tons, rising 1.2 percent; that for sulfur dioxide was 25.94 million tons, rising 1.8 percent.
7. Funds for research and development equivalent to 1.41 percent of GDP
Last year China spent 294.3 billion yuan on research and development, 20.1 percent more than the previous year and 1.41 percent of GDP. Though a record high, it lags behind the standard (above 2 percent) of developed countries.
Last year, a total of 1,409 projects under the National Key Technology Research and Development Program and 2,841 projects under the Hi-tech Research and Development Program (the 863 Program) were implemented, according to the communiqu��. The year 2006 saw the establishment of seven new national engineering research centers and three national engineering laboratories, and funds allocated for fundamental research programs reached 14.8 billion yuan.
A total of 268,000 patents were approved in 2006, of which 224,000 were domestic patents, accounting for 83.5 percent of the total. A total of 58,000 patents for new inventions were given, of which 25,000 were domestic, accounting for 43.4 percent.
8. Urbanization rate hit 43.9 percent
At the end of 2006, China's urban residents accounted for 43.9 percent of the national population, 0.9 percent higher than the previous year. The nation had a total population of 1,314.48 million, 6.92 million more than the previous year. The urban population stood at 577.06 million and the rural population at 737.42 million. Statistics indicate an annual urbanization growth rate of around 1 percent. The urbanization rates from 2002 to 2005 were 39.1, 40.5, 41.8 and 43 percent respectively.
9. Newly completed commercial buildings dropped 0.6 percent
The total floor space created in new commercial real estate decreased by 0.6 percent, as against a 1.49 percent rise in 2005. The total sales of commercial buildings reached 2,051.0 billion yuan. Of this, purchases made from the plans totaled 1,436.6 billion yuan, accounting for 70 percent. The proportion was 64.5 in 2005.
In 2006, investment in real estate development was 1,938.2 billion yuan, up 21.8 percent. Of this total, investment in commercial real estate was 1,361.2 billion yuan, an increase of 25.3 percent.
10. Privately-owned cars topped 10 million
At the end of 2006, the number of privately-owned cars numbered 11.49 million, up by 33.5 percent.
The increase in private car ownership began in the 1980s when it was first allowed. The number soared this century as a result of the overall opening up of China's automobile market, the fast development of domestic carmakers (which increased supply and brought down prices), as well as a series of national policies encouraging private buyers to purchase a car.
By People Daily Online