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Encouraging aspects of the slowing Chinese economy

(People's Daily Online)

07:47, August 07, 2012

Although Chinese economy is slowing down, there are some positive aspects in regard to the slowing economy.

First, China’s agriculture was in good shape in the first half of the year, with its summer grain output seeing the ninth consecutive year of growth.

The country’s summer grain output hit a record high of 129.9 million tons in the first half, an increase of 3.6 million tons, or nearly 3 percent, from the same period of last year.

The output of summer rapeseed reached over 12.9 million tons, an increase of 460,000 tons, or nearly 4 percent, from the first half of last year.

The output of pork, beef, mutton, and poultry increased nearly 6 percent to nearly 39.3 million tons, of which, pork output reached nearly 25.9 million tons, up nearly 6 percent from a year earlier.

The number of live pigs rose nearly 4 percent to nearly 455.3 million, and the number of slaughtered pigs rose nearly 6 percent to nearly 338.4 million, both hitting five-year high.

Second, the income of both urban and rural residents continued to rise rapidly, and their living standards witnessed further improvements.

China’s overall employment situation remained stable in the first six months despite domestic economic slowdown. The country created nearly 7 million new jobs in urban areas in the first half, an increase of 390,000 jobs from last year.

The per capita disposable income of urban residents grew nearly 10 percent after adjusting for inflation, and the per capita cash income of rural residents rose over 12 percent in real terms, both exceeding the growth rate of gross domestic product (GDP).

Rural residents’ income grew for a tenth straight quarter faster than that of urban residents. Social housing projects were also carried out actively, with 2.6 million units, or over 50 percent of the target number, built in the first half.

In the meantime, the country started building 4.7 million social housing units, accounting for over 60 percent of the target number.

Third, inflation continued to ease as inflationary pressures dropped markedly.

China curbed the upward trend in consumer prices in the first half thanks to a series of polices for stabilizing prices.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) grew slightly over 2 percent in June from a year earlier, down from nearly 5 percent in January. The CPI climbed over 3 percent in the January-June period, 0.5 percentage points lower than the growth registered in the first quarter and 2.1 percentage points lower than the growth in the same period of last year.

Food prices rose nearly 7 percent in the first six months, 4.9 percentage points lower than the same period of last year.

Housing prices continued to drop due to cooling polices. Of the 70 large and medium-sized Chinese cities monitored by the National Bureau of Statistics, the number of cities that saw a year-over-year decline in housing prices had been on a steady rise since last September, and reached 57 in June.

Fourth, China made new progress in industrial restructuring.

The value-added output of the country’s six energy-intensive industries increased over 9 percent in the first half from last year, slower than all other industries.

Emerging industries developed rapidly.

The value-added output of high-tech industries increased over 12 percent during the period, 1.8 percentage points higher than the average growth rate of industrial enterprises above designated size.

In addition, the policies for saving energy and reducing emissions paid off, with total energy consumption in the first half dropping from a year earlier.

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