A worker walks inside a construction site in Beijing in this photograph dated July 13, 2016. China's economy grew 6.6 percent year on year in 2018, according to government data released on Jan 21, 2019. (NICOLAS ASFOURI / AFP)
BEIJING - China's economy grew 6.6 percent year on year in 2018, above the official target of around 6.5 percent, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed Monday.
The reading was lower than 6.8% growth posted in 2017. Also, 4th quarter growth contracted to 6.4% from 6.5% the quarter before, National Bureau of Statistics data showed
China's economy has performed within a reasonable range in 2018, with economic growth being generally stable and improvement achieved in performance, Ning Jizhe, head of the NBS, said at a press conference.
Contributing to nearly 30 percent of the world's economic growth, the country's economy has remained the largest contributor to global economic growth, Ning said.
Gross domestic product (GDP) totaled 90.0309 trillion yuan (about US$13.28 trillion) in 2018, with the service sector accounting for more than half of the total.
Consumption remained the major growth driver, contributing 76.2 percent to GDP growth last year. Retail sales, a main gauge of consumption, rose 9 percent from one year earlier.
The data also showed China's fixed-asset investment increased 5.9 percent year on year in 2018, down from a rise of 7.2 percent in 2017.
Industrial output climbed 6.2 percent year on year last year, 0.4 percentage point lower than the previous year.
Industrial output expands
China's industrial output expanded 6.2 percent year on year in 2018, slowing from 6.6-percent growth in 2017, NBS showed Monday.
Industrial structure continued to improve last year, with production in high-tech industries, strategic emerging industries and equipment manufacturing sector expanding by 11.7 percent, 8.9 percent and 8.1 percent, respectively.
Output of railway passenger cars saw a surge of 183 percent year on year in 2018, while new energy vehicles jumped by 40.1 percent, NBS data showed.
Industrial output, officially called industrial value added, is used to measure the activity of designated large enterprises with annual turnover of at least 20 million yuan (about US$3 million).
Fixed-asset investment grows
China's fixed-asset investment grew 5.9 percent year on year in 2018, 0.5 percentage point faster than that recorded in the first three quarters, the NBS announced Monday.
The fixed-asset investment amounted to 63.56 trillion yuan (US$9.38 trillion) last year, according to the NBS.
Private investment, accounting for about 62 percent of the total, posted a vigorous 8.7-percent increase, picking up pace from the 6-percent growth in 2017.
As another bright spot, the investment in high-tech and equipment manufacturing sectors remained strong, up by 16.1 percent and 11.1 percent, respectively.
In breakdown, the investment in the primary industry gained 12.9 percent last year, quickening from 11.8-percent growth in 2017. The investment in the secondary industry went up by 6.2 percent, up significantly from the 3.2-percent rise a year ago.
The investment in the tertiary industry expanded 5.5 percent in 2018.
Resident income rises
China's per capita disposable income stood at 28,228 yuan (US$4,165) in 2018, up 6.5 percent year on year in real terms, official data showed Monday.
Separately, urban and rural per capita disposable income reached 39,251 yuan and 14,617 yuan in 2018, up 5.6 percent and 6.6 percent in real terms after deducting price factors, respectively, according to NBS.
China's per capita consumer spending increased by 6.2 percent year on year in real terms to reach 19,853 yuan (US$2,877) in 2018, NBS said Monday.
The growth rate was 0.8 percentage point higher than that recorded in the previous year.
In 2018, retail sales rose 6.9 percent year on year to 38.1 trillion yuan, up 6.9 percent year on year in real terms.
Property investment grows
China's investment in property development grew 9.5 percent year on year in 2018, 2.5 percentage points faster than the pace in 2017, the NBS announced.
Stable employment growth
China has seen stable employment growth in 2018, official data showed Monday.
The number of newly-created jobs in urban areas reached 13.61 million in 2018, 100,000 more than the previous year and surpassing the government's annual target.
The number in 2018 rose for the sixth year in a row above 13 million.
China's surveyed unemployment rate in urban areas stood at 4.9 percent in December, 0.1 percentage point lower than that in December of the previous year.
The rate remained below the government's target of controlling the surveyed urban unemployment rate within 5.5 percent in 2018.
HONG KONG NEWS