People visit the renovated East Nanjing Road Walkway in east China's Shanghai, Sept 12, 2020. (FANG ZHE / XINHUA)
BEIJING - China's economic recovery continued picking up steam last month, with major economic indicators further improving as the country's efforts to boost growth amid the COVID-19 slowdown gradually paid off.
China's retail sales of consumer goods, a major indicator of consumption growth, expanded for the first time this year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Tuesday.
In August, the total retail sales of consumer goods reached 3.36 trillion yuan (about US$492.08 billion), rising 0.5 percent year-on-year
In August, the total retail sales of consumer goods reached 3.36 trillion yuan (about US$492.08 billion), rising 0.5 percent year-on-year.
In the first eight months, the total retail sales of consumer goods reached 23.8 trillion yuan, down 8.6 percent year-on-year, narrowing by 1.3 percentage points compared with that in the first seven months.
The sales of communication equipment and cosmetics expanded 25.1 percent and 19 percent in August, respectively.
Meanwhile, the country's online sales rose 9.5 percent year-on-year to reach 7.03 trillion yuan in the first eight months, widening by 0.5 percentage points from that in the Jan-July period.
China's value-added industrial output, an important economic indicator, continued to recover as factories stepped up production amid effective COVID-19 control, official data showed.
Industrial output went up 5.6 percent year-on-year in August, accelerating from a rise of 4.8 percent registered in July, NBS data showed
Industrial output went up 5.6 percent year-on-year in August, accelerating from a rise of 4.8 percent registered in July, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
On a month-on-month basis, industrial output rose 1.02 percent in August, also quickening from July's 0.98-percent increase.
In the first eight months, industrial output expanded 0.4 percent from one year earlier, compared with a decline of 0.4 percent in the Jan-July period, NBS data showed.
The output by the equipment manufacturing and high-tech manufacturing sectors increased 10.8 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively, both markedly outpacing the overall growth in industrial output.
Industrial output is used to measure the activity of designated large enterprises with an annual business turnover of at least 20 million yuan (about US$2.93 million) from their main operations.
China's fixed-asset investment edged down 0.3 percent year-on-year during the Jan-Aug period, with the decline narrowing from the 1.6-percent fall in the first seven months, NBS data showed.
Fixed-asset investment edged down 0.3 percent year-on-year during the Jan-Aug period, amounting to 37.88 trillion yuan (about US$5.55 trillion), according to the NBS
In the first eight months, the nation's fixed-asset investment amounted to 37.88 trillion yuan (about US$5.55 trillion), according to the NBS.
Investment by the state sector went up 3.2 percent during the period, while private-sector investment fell 2.8 percent, with the drop narrowing 2.9 percentage points from that in the first seven months.
Investment in the primary industry went up 11.5 percent, accelerating from the 7.7-percent rise in the first seven months, while investment in the secondary sector fell 4.8 percent. Investment in the tertiary industry edged up 1.4 percent.
Meanwhile, investment in high-tech manufacturing and services surged 8.8 percent and 7.2 percent year-on-year, respectively.
On a month-on-month basis, fixed-asset investment rose 4.18 percent in August.
Fixed-asset investment includes capital spent on infrastructure, property, machinery and other physical assets.
This undated photo shows technicians working at a machine tool making company in Baoji, Shaanxi province. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
China's investment in property development rose 4.6 percent year-on-year in the first eight months of 2020, widening from the 3.4-percent increase in the first seven months, the NBS said.
Total property investment in the period stood at 8.85 trillion yuan (about US$1.3 trillion), the NBS said.
China's investment in property development picked up in the first eight months, rising 4.6 percent year-on-year, the NBS said
Investment in residential buildings came in at 6.55 trillion yuan, up 5.3 percent from the same period last year, quickening from the 4.1-percent rise in Jan-July period.
Commercial housing sales in terms of floor area totaled 984.86 million square meters in the first eight months, down 3.3 percent year-on-year, narrowing from the 5.8-percent drop in the first seven months.
In terms of value, commercial housing sales rose 1.6 percent year-on-year to 9.69 trillion yuan in the first eight months, compared with the 2.1-percent drop in the first seven months.
The property development climate index compiled by the NBS edged up 0.24 points from July to 100.33 points in August.
China's housing market remained generally stable in August, with a slight month-on-month rise in home prices in major cities, according to the NBS.
China has reiterated the principle that "houses are for living in, not speculation." While curbing housing price speculation, the country will implement city-specific policies in the sector, according to this year's government work report.
China's surveyed unemployment rate in urban areas stood at 5.6 percent in August, 0.1 percentage points lower than that of July, NBS data showed.
A total of 7.81 million new urban jobs were created in the first eight months of the year, down 2.03 million from the same period last year, said the NBS.
The surveyed unemployment rate in the 25-59 age group, which accounts for the majority of the labor market, stood at 4.8 percent in August, down 0.2 percentage points from July.
Meanwhile, the surveyed unemployment rate in 31 major cities was 5.7 percent last month, down 0.1 percentage points from that of July, according to the NBS.
The surveyed urban unemployment rate is calculated based on the number of unemployed people who have participated in the employment survey in urban areas, including migrant workers in cities.
China will give priority to stabilizing employment and ensuring living standards this year, aiming to add over 9 million new urban jobs and keep the surveyed urban unemployment rate at around 6 percent, according to the government work report.
Q3 GDP growth to 'accelerate evidently'
Speaking at a press conference later on Tuesday, a NBS spokesperson said that China's economic growth is expected to see "an evident acceleration" in the third quarter if recovery momentum sustains in September.
Industrial output and service production have improved so far in the third quarter compared to that in the second quarter, Fu Linghui said.
"If such momentum could be sustained in September, the economic growth will accelerate evidently in the third quarter," said Fu.
The Index of Services Production grew by 4 percent year on year in August, widening from the 3.5-percent increase in July, NBS data showed.
China's gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 3.2 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, reversing from a contraction of 6.8 percent in the first quarter.
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