Zheng Jingping Spokesman National Bureau of Statistics of China 20 April 2005
In the first quarter of this year, regions and departments at all levels carefully implement various macroeconomic policies set by the national economic working conference and the third plenary session of the 10th National People¡¯s Congress by further establishing the scientific concept of development, enhancing macro regulation, pushing forward reform and opening-up and constructing a harmonious society. National economic performance starts well.
According to preliminary estimation, the gross domestic product (GDP) of China in the first quarter of this year was 3,135.5 billion yuan, a year-on-year change of 9.5 percent, it was 0.3 percentage points lower as compared with the growth rate for the first quarter of 2004. Of this total, the value-added of the primary industry was 228.7 billion yuan, up by 4.6 percent; the value-added of the secondary industry was 1,836.6 billion yuan, up by 11.3 percent; and the value-added of the tertiary industry was 1,070.2 billion yuan, up by 7.6 percent. National economy kept the momentum of stable and rapid growth.
1. Agricultural production was good. Survey results showed that farmers were enthusiastic in grain production in 2005, and the expected planting areas for grain would reach 1,558 million mu (1.04 million hectares), a year-on-year increase of 2.3 percent. Of this total, the planting areas for summer grain were 395 million mu (26.33 million hectares), up by 4.8 percent, reversing the trend of declining for consecutive 7 years. At present, the winter wheat was growing well, and the soil moisture content was good.
2. Rapid growth was seen in industrial production. In the first quarter of this year, the total value-added of the industrial enterprises above designated size was 1,441.5 billion yuan, a year-on-year growth of 16.2 percent over the same period last year. The growth of heavy industry was 16.3 percent while that of the light industry was 16.0 percent. Analyzed by products, the power generation, and the production of coal and rolled steel was up by 13.0 percent, 9.1 percent and 22.4 percent respectively, the production of microcomputers, mobile phones and fax machines rose by 57.5 percent, 23.9 percent and 34.1 percent. The production of motor vehicles went up by 1.6 percent, of this total, that of the cars declined by 2.8 percent.
Profits made by industrial enterprises continued to increase. In the first 2 months of this year, the profits made by industrial enterprises above designated size stood at 165.3 billion yuan, a year-on-year change of 17.4 percent. Of this total, that of the state-owned and state-holding enterprises increased by 14 percent.
3. Rapid growth was recorded in the investment in fixed assets. In the first quarter of this year, the investment in fixed assets of the country was 1,099.8 billion yuan, up by 22.8, or a decline of 20.2 percentage points as compared with the growth in the same period last year. Of which, the investment in urban areas reached 903.7 billion yuan, up by 25.3 percent; that in rural areas was 196.2 billion yuan, up by 12.7 percent. Of the total investment in urban areas, the investment in real estate development was 232.4 billion yuan, up by 26.7 percent. In terms of different sectors, the investment in agriculture, energy and transportation has been enhanced. The investment in agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and fishery increased by 39.9 percent, that in coal mining and washing went up by 86.1 percent, that in electricity, gas and water production and supply was 44.0 percent and a 4.3-folds growth for investment in railways. Investment in cement and metallurgy sectors was put under continuous control. The investment in non-metal products, and in non-ferrous metal dressing, smelting and pressing industry declined by 2.9 percent and 1.4 percent respectively. The investment in ferrous metal dressing, smelting and pressing was up 6.0 percent.
4. Domestic markets were fairly brisk. In the first quarter of this year, the total retail sales of consumer goods reached 1.511.2 billion yuan, a year-on-year rise of 13.7 percent, or a real growth of 11.9 percent if price factors were deducted, or 2.7 percentage points higher than that in the first quarter of 2004. Of which, the total retail sales in cities reached 1,009.0 billion yuan, up by 14.7 percent, that of county and below county level stood at 502.2 billion yuan, up by 11.7 percent. In terms of different sectors, the sales by wholesale and retail business was 1,261.6 billion yuan, up by 13.6 percent, and that by catering industry, 206.3 billion yuan, up by 17.2 percent.
5. Market prices rose moderately. China registered a year-on-year rise of 2.8 percent in total consumer price level in the first quarter, of which, price rose by 2.5 percent in cities and 3.5 percent in rural areas. In terms of commodity categories, prices for food rose by 6.1 percent, housing price was up by 5.6 percent, and prices for entertainment, education and culture articles and services rose by 2.6 percent. Prices for other categories of commodities either maintained the same level or had slight decline. The retail prices of commodities rose by 1.6 percent year on year in the first quarter. The prices for fixed assets investment rose by 1.8 percent. The producer¡¯s price for manufactured goods rose by 5.6 percent. The purchaser¡¯s price for raw material, fuel and power rose by 10.1 percent.
6. Export continued to grow rapidly and foreign direct investment continued to increase. The total value of import and export for the first quarter was US$ 295.2 billion, up 23.1 percent year on year. Of which, export value was US$ 155.9 billion, up by 34.9 percent and import US$ 139.3 billion, up 12.2 percent. The trade surplus was US$16.6 billion. The total contracted value for foreign direct investment in the first quarter was US$ 35.2 billion, a year-on-year rise of 4.5 percent. The total value of foreign capital actually utilized was US$ 13.4 billion, up by 9.5 percent. By the end of March, China registered a total of US$ 659.1 billion in foreign exchange reserves, an increase of US$ 49.2 billion over the end of last year.
7. Urban and rural residents¡¯ income kept relatively rapid growth. In the first quarter, the per capita disposable income of urban residents was 2,938 yuan, up by 11.3 percent year-on-year or 8.6 percent of real rise if price factors were deducted. The per capita cash income of rural residents was 967 yuan, up by 15.9 percent year-on-year, or 11.9 percent growth in real terms.
The above statistics show that the national economy continued to develop in the expected direction of macro-regulation and control. The overall situation is upbeat. However, it should be noted that, it is a hard job to maintain agricultural growth and the increase of farmers¡¯ income; the total size pf investment is too large; the shortage of coal, electricity, petroleum and transportation is still prominent; the price for some up-stream products rose at a bigger margin than desired; and the task of macroeconomic regulation and control is still arduous. At present, we should continue to guide the overall economic and social development by a scientific outlook on development; to make reform and opening up as the driving force; to keep the policies consistent and to go all out to implement them. Macroeconomic regulation and control should be meticulously implemented in order to consolidate and strengthen the good momentum of national economic performance.<