Chinese economy continues to improve in April

By Lu Ya’nan, People’s Daily
China’s economic performance continued to improve with major indicators manifesting positive changes in April, said Liu Aihua, spokesperson of the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) at a briefing on China’s economic performance in April held on May 15.
Work resumption was advancing steadily in April, with growing production demand and economic vitality, Liu noted, adding that major economic indicators showed a sustained improving situation from March. The total added value of industrial enterprises above designated size, which dropped 1.1 percent in March, grew 3.9 percent year on year in April.
According to a quick survey by the NBS in late April, approximately 85 percent of industrial enterprises above designated size resumed more than half their normal production level. In April, the added value of the manufacturing industry grew 5.0 percent, with that of the equipment manufacturing, which dropped 3.6 percent in the previous month, going up 9.3 percent. The added value of high-tech manufacturing grew 10.5%, 1.6 percentage points higher than that in March.
In April, the total retail sales of consumer goods went down by 7.5 percent, which triggered concerns over the recovery of consumption, the largest engine driving the growth of China’s economy.
Under current background of implementing regular epidemic prevention and control measures, the economic situation must be observed under a bigger picture, Liu explained. At present, the recovery of production is slightly faster than that of consumption, which is related to the characteristics of the impact caused by the outbreak, she said. Although the epidemic has now moved from a state of emergency to regular prevention and control, consumption and service sectors based on gatherings and direct contact still need time to recover.
The sales volume of telecommunications equipment and office appliances rose 12.2 percent and 6.5 percent, 5.7 percentage points and 0.4 percentage point higher than in March, respectively. The sports and entertainment sector saw growth of 11.6 percent, while it slipped 7.1 percent in March, and the sales volume of cosmetics, which dropped 11.6 percent in March, increased 3.5 percent last month.
The year on year sales of auto above the designated limit remained on the same level in April, while that in March was down 18.1 percent. According to China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, auto sales grew 4.4 percent from last April and 43.5 percent from this March.
Predicting the economic development in the second quarter, Liu remarked that China has the conditions, the foundation, and the confidence to achieve sustained economic recovery and growth under various policies and with market players’ joint efforts.
However, on the other hand, she said, there are indeed large instabilities and uncertainties. Therefore, the country must uphold bottom-line thinking, seize favorable market conditions, use inherent strengths in economic operation, release the potential of domestic demand, and help companies overcome current difficulties. Eventually, the economy will return to normal, Liu said.

Container vessels dock at a terminal in Nansha district, Guangzhou, south China’s Guangdong province, May 10. Photo by Qiu Xinsheng, People’s Daily Online

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