Data reflect continued recovery of China's economy

By Sun Chi (Chinadaily.com.cn) 14:01, March 05, 2024

High-rises dominate the skyline on both sides of the Huangpu River in Shanghai. [Photo by Gao Erqiang/China Daily]

Recently, a series of leading indicators have been released, reflecting the continued recovery of China's economy, CCTV News reported on Sunday.


Workers install the core module of Linglong One, the world's first commercial small modular reactor, at a nuclear power plant in Changjiang Li autonomous county, Hainan province, on Aug 10, 2023. Linglong One is a multipurpose small modular pressurized water reactor, developed by the China National Nuclear Corp. [Photo/CHINA DAILY]

The operating rate of construction projects was higher

Data from the State Information Center showed that in the first week after the Spring Festival holiday (Feb 18 to 24), China's average operating rate rose by 12.0 percentage points from the low point during the Spring Festival (Feb 10 to 17), and construction across the country resumed work and production steadily. And in January, the overall operating rate of the country's construction machinery reached 47.81 percent, significantly higher than the level of the same period last year (40.61 percent), laying a certain foundation for a good start to the economy in 2024.

From January to February this year, the bid-winning amount of project investment increased by 9.1 percent year-on-year across the country, of which, the bid-winning amount of machinery equipment, agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and fishery, water conservancy and hydropower increased by 24.5 percent, 24.5 percent and 16.7 percent, respectively.


A photo taken on Feb 26, 2024, shows the tunnel boring machine Yongzhou at an industrial park of China Railway Construction Heavy Industry Co Ltd in Changsha, Central China's Hunan province. [Photo/cnr.cn]

The vitality of business operations quickly recovered

In addition, a number of leading indicators reflecting the production and operation vitality of enterprises show that the business vitality of enterprises in China was rapidly stabilizing and improving, the supply and demand situation of small and medium-sized enterprises continued to improve, and domestic demand maintained a good recovery momentum.

In the week after the holiday (Feb 18 to 23), the production heat index for industrial park quickly recovered, the average daily index returned to the pre-holiday level, an increase of 14.4 percent year-on-year, according to the State Information Center.

The macroeconomic sentiment index by the China Association of Small and Medium Enterprises stood at 98.8 in January, up 0.3 points from December 2023.


Foreign trade injects positive momentum into the economy

The latest leading indicators and high-frequency data show that from January to February this year, foreign trade got off to a good start, injecting positive momentum into China's economic development.

China's port operation has maintained a good momentum this year. In January, Ningbo Port container throughput increased by 17.4 percent year-on-year, and its vehicle exports rose by 47.4 percent from a year earlier, which continued the rapid growth trend.

The State Information Center said the daily average index has recovered in the first week after the Spring Festival holiday (Feb 18 to 23) to the pre-holiday level, also an increase of 6.3 percent over the same period last year, indicating a rapid recovery of production and trading activities in the comprehensive bonded areas.


Seres showcases the Aito M5, co-developed with Huawei, at the Chengdu auto show in August 2023. [LI FUSHENG/CHINA DAILY]

Consumer activity continues to recover

According to data from the State Information Center, the average value of offline consumption activity from January to February increased by 3.9 percent year-on-year, which was better than last year.

After the Spring Festival holiday, offline consumption vitality quickly rebounded. The week after the festival (Feb 18 to 23) saw an increase of 2.6 percent over the same period last year. The rapid return of the bustling scene in shopping malls indicated the rapid recovery of residents' offline consumption vitality. In terms of online consumption, the life service industry shows vigor and vitality. According to the State Information Center, the vitality value of life service consumption in February 2024 was 134.1, and the consumption scale of life service in China increased by 34.1 percent year-on-year. Among them, the vitality value of the catering industry, tourism industry, leisure and entertainment industry, as well as accommodation industry was 127.4, 146.1, 157.5 and 152.9, respectively, which was significantly higher than the same period last year.

Recently, Goldman Sachs, UBS and other international financial institutions said in their reports that in 2024, China's consumption and service industry will continue the recovery trend after the pandemic.

The International Monetary Fund also raised its growth forecast for China's economy and other emerging economies in Asia in 2024 recently. Emerging economies in Asia as a whole are expected to grow by 5.2 percent this year, up 0.4 percentage points from its forecast in October last year, as China's growth is likely to exceed expectations, the IMF said.

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Liang Jun)


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