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January 20, 2020

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Consumption, services, emerging industries lift China’s GDP to 6.1%

Amid global growth slowdown, China’s economy delivered a solid performance in 2019 with the continual improvement in the economic structure being one of the bright spots underpinning high-quality development.

The gross domestic product grew 6.1 percent year on year to 99.09 trillion yuan (US$14.38 trillion) last year, within the government’s annual target of 6 to 6.5 percent, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

A breakdown of the data showed throughout the year, consumption, services and emerging industries accounted for an increasing share of the economy, suggesting continued progress in the country’s economic restructuring.

Expanding by 6.9 percent from the previous year to 53.42 trillion yuan, the value-added output of the tertiary industry accounted for 53.9 percent of the economy.

Contribution of the tertiary industry to the economic growth stood at 59.4 percent, 22.6 percentage points higher than that of the secondary industry.

Consumption remained the Chinese economy’s top growth driver, with its contribution to GDP expansion at 57.8 percent, said NBS head Ning Jizhe.

Service consumption kept booming, with its proportion reaching 45.9 percent of the residents’ per capita consumption expenditure, up 1.7 percentage points from the previous year.

With the world’s largest middle-income group, there is still large room for China to see the increase of consumption’s proportion in GDP and a bigger share of service consumption in the overall consumption mix, according to Liu Qiao, dean of the Guanghua School of Management at Peking University.

While the service industry expanded steadily in both its size and contribution to economic growth, structure of the second industry was also optimized thanks to the sustained efforts on industrial transformation and innovation.

In 2019, value-added industrial output expanded 5.7 percent year on year, with the production in high-tech manufacturing industries and strategic emerging industries increasing by 8.8 percent and 8.4 percent, respectively.

Fixed-asset investment

The annual industrial capacity utilization rate reached 76.6 percent, up 0.1 percentage points from a year earlier.

Friday’s NBS data also showed that the investment in high-tech industries led to the overall fixed-asset investment growth, pointing to an improved investment structure.

Last year, the fixed-asset investment in high-tech industries registered a growth of 17.3 percent, with that in high-tech manufacturing and service sectors up 17.7 percent and 16.5 percent.

Products with high-added value and independent intellectual property rights represented by electronics and information technology have gradually become new growth points and core driving forces of economic restructuring and industrial upgrading, said Zhang Monan, a research fellow of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.

China will promote industrial and consumption upgrading, fully tap into the advantages of its considerable market and give play to the underpinning role of consumption and the pivotal role of investment, according to the annual Central Economic Work Conference.

China is not deliberately pursuing particular GDP numbers but is after reasonable economic growth with quality and efficiency, Ning said.


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