April economic data fell across the board, Bureau of Statistics: May will be fine


2022-05-16: [Article Link Economic data released by the National Statistical Office on 16 April indicate that economic indicators, such as industry, consumption, investment, etc., have fallen across the board. In April, total retailing of social consumer goods fell by 11.1 per cent over the year, a decrease of 7.6 percentage points over March, while the value added of industries above size fell by 2.9 per cent over the same year, an increase of 7.9 percentage points over the March harvest. Between January and April, the national fixed asset investment rose by 6.8 per cent over the same period and by 2.5 percentage points over the quarter, with the national investment in real estate development falling by 2.7 per cent over the same period, with rare negative growth. At a press conference held at the new National Office for Statistics, the press spokesman for the National Statistical Office stated that the April epidemic had a significant impact on the functioning of the economy, but that the impact had been short-term and external, that there had been no change in the basics of a stable and long-term outlook for the country's economy, that there had been no change in the pace of the upgrading of the transition and high-quality development, and that there had been more favourable conditions for stabilizing the macroeconomic landscape and achieving development expectations. “Stabilizing economic policy measures will continue to be effective, and the economy is expected to recover gradually as the epidemic’s prevention and control progresses in a phased manner.” According to Jilin, Shanghai, etc., the epidemic is now under effective control, the resumption of work is proceeding in an orderly manner, and a range of policy measures, such as the expansion of domestic demand, the alleviation of poverty, the stabilization of prices, and the provision of livelihood security, are coming to fruition, and the economy is expected to improve in May. Negative industrial growth As a result of logistical and supply chain disturbances, the impact of the epidemic on industrial production in April was significantly greater than in March. Data show that the value added of industries above size in April was 7.08 per cent lower than in the previous month. In April, the value added of industries above size fell by 2.9 per cent on a year-on-year basis, with a 4.6 per cent decline in manufacturing, mainly affected by the decline in the equipment manufacturing industry, such as automobiles. In April, the value added of automobiles fell by 31.8 per cent on a year-on-year basis. From a regional perspective, the value added of industries above the size of the long triangle fell by 14.1 per cent on a year-on-year basis, while industry in the north-east fell by 16.9 per cent on a year-on-year basis, mainly as a result of the closure of some of the enterprises affected by the epidemic. At present, industrial production is under pressure, mainly in the form of inadequate market demand, a decline in the level of production and distribution linkages, a number of bottlenecks in the supply chain of the industrial chain, poor production cycles, rising production costs and reduced profitability. In spite of these difficulties, however, the characteristics of our industrial system, which is well-developed and well-equipped, have not changed; cumulatively, the value added of industries above size has increased by 4 per cent over the period January-April. It is worth mentioning that, since mid-April, the industrial economy has shown signs of a positive trend. The second week of April saw a two-week reduction in industrial power consumption and a steady recovery in the index of industrial concentration areas monitored by mobile mail. As the epidemic is brought under control, traffic logistics, improved production cycles and, in particular, continued efforts to reduce taxes and fees and to assist enterprises in their efforts to reduce poverty will help to boost business confidence, improve business operations and promote the sustainable recovery of industrial production in the next phase. There has been a significant decline in catering consumption. In April, social retail sales of consumer goods totalled $294.83 billion, a decrease of 11.1 per cent from the previous year, an increase of 7.6 percentage points from March. Of this amount, retail sales of consumer goods, other than automobiles, decreased by 2,691.6 billion, or 8.4 per cent. According to China, the chief macroanalyst of the GCC securities, consumption remains a weak link in economic recovery. This aspect is linked to the outbreak’s perturbation and, on the other hand, will be affected by employment and income among the population. In terms of total consumption, the main feature of the month of April was that non-essential and catering sales were more affected by the epidemic, which reduced the growth in total retail sales of social consumer goods. During the month of April, merchandise retail sales fell by 9.7 per cent on a year-on-year basis and catering revenues by 22.7 per cent. Regionally, retail sales of consumer goods in the Long Triangle and North-East areas above limits, which were more severely affected by the epidemic, fell by more than 30 per cent on a year-on-year basis. “In spite of the decline in market sales, the basic livelihood of the population has been effectively secured, and the sale of related goods has continued to grow. The retail sales of food and food products and beverages, above the April quota, have increased by 10 per cent and 6 per cent, respectively.” The fall in consumption in April was largely affected by the short-term impact of the epidemic. As the epidemic is brought under control, production order is restored to normal conditions, and depressed consumption is gradually released. Since mid-April, the country’s epidemic has been on the decline as a whole, with a gradual improvement in Shanghai and Gilling’s epidemic, contributing to the creation of a suitable consumer environment. At the same time, macroeconomic stabilization and increased support for stable employment will guarantee the population’s ability to consume, together with the effectiveness of policies to promote consumption, and the country’s recovery in consumption is expected to continue. Capital investment has fallen short of expectations Between January and April, the country's fixed-asset investment (excluding farm households) grew by 15,354.4 million yuan, a 6.8 per cent increase over the same period, a reduction of 2.5 percentage points over the quarter. Investment in infrastructure (excluding electricity, heat, gas and water production and supply) increased by 6.5 per cent over the same period and by 2.0 percentage points over the quarter. Of this, investments in water management increased by 12.0 per cent, investment in public facilities management by 7.1 per cent, investment in road transport by 0.4 per cent and investment in rail transport by 7.0 per cent. Since the beginning of the year, capital investment has played a “barrel” role in stabilizing economic growth as a result of a steady growth policy at the national level. But the recovery in capital investment has fallen short of expectations in the face of pressure from a complex and volatile economy, as a result of the current multiple epidemics, the intensification of the Russian-Ukraine conflict, global inflation, and the rise in uncertainty and instability in the environment in which the Fed is operating. As a “barometer” for capital investment, the volume of excavators dropped by 47.3 per cent in April on a year-on-year basis, and the lack of effective start-up was more pronounced owing to repeated outbreaks and limited logistical transport, thus delaying the sale of engineering machinery. As the impact of the epidemic subsides and the resumption of work progresses, the director of the Institute of Episcopal Finance said that the business situation of the private sector was improving, investment incentives would be raised again, leading to faster growth in manufacturing investment, and real estate investment was likely to end at the end of the second quarter, leading to a steady upturn in fixed-asset investment. It has been emphasized that investment will continue to play a positive role and that investment in infrastructure and manufacturing is strongly supported. Since the beginning of the year, the issuance and use of earmarked debt has accelerated, and financial resources available for infrastructure investment have become more adequate. At the same time, owing to the epidemic, some manufacturing firms have experienced increased production difficulties, but policies to promote steady growth in the industrial economy have been put in place in various sectors in all regions, and major manufacturing investment projects have been launched. The implementation of large-scale value-added tax (VAT) credits has also contributed to confidence-building in enterprises and has been supported by growth in manufacturing investment.


Note: This is a translated version of the Chinese news media article. A mature and nuanced reading is suggested.



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April economic data fell across the board, Bureau of Statistics: May will be fine


2022-05-16: [Article Link Economic data released by the National Statistical Office on 16 April indicate that economic indicators, such as industry, consumption, investment, etc., have fallen across the board. In April, total retailing of social consumer goods fell by 11.1 per cent over the year, a decrease of 7.6 percentage points over March, while the value added of industries above size fell by 2.9 per cent over the same year, an increase of 7.9 percentage points over the March harvest. Between January and April, the national fixed asset investment rose by 6.8 per cent over the same period and by 2.5 percentage points over the quarter, with the national investment in real estate development falling by 2.7 per cent over the same period, with rare negative growth. At a press conference held at the new National Office for Statistics, the press spokesman for the National Statistical Office stated that the April epidemic had a significant impact on the functioning of the economy, but that the impact had been short-term and external, that there had been no change in the basics of a stable and long-term outlook for the country's economy, that there had been no change in the pace of the upgrading of the transition and high-quality development, and that there had been more favourable conditions for stabilizing the macroeconomic landscape and achieving development expectations. “Stabilizing economic policy measures will continue to be effective, and the economy is expected to recover gradually as the epidemic’s prevention and control progresses in a phased manner.” According to Jilin, Shanghai, etc., the epidemic is now under effective control, the resumption of work is proceeding in an orderly manner, and a range of policy measures, such as the expansion of domestic demand, the alleviation of poverty, the stabilization of prices, and the provision of livelihood security, are coming to fruition, and the economy is expected to improve in May. Negative industrial growth As a result of logistical and supply chain disturbances, the impact of the epidemic on industrial production in April was significantly greater than in March. Data show that the value added of industries above size in April was 7.08 per cent lower than in the previous month. In April, the value added of industries above size fell by 2.9 per cent on a year-on-year basis, with a 4.6 per cent decline in manufacturing, mainly affected by the decline in the equipment manufacturing industry, such as automobiles. In April, the value added of automobiles fell by 31.8 per cent on a year-on-year basis. From a regional perspective, the value added of industries above the size of the long triangle fell by 14.1 per cent on a year-on-year basis, while industry in the north-east fell by 16.9 per cent on a year-on-year basis, mainly as a result of the closure of some of the enterprises affected by the epidemic. At present, industrial production is under pressure, mainly in the form of inadequate market demand, a decline in the level of production and distribution linkages, a number of bottlenecks in the supply chain of the industrial chain, poor production cycles, rising production costs and reduced profitability. In spite of these difficulties, however, the characteristics of our industrial system, which is well-developed and well-equipped, have not changed; cumulatively, the value added of industries above size has increased by 4 per cent over the period January-April. It is worth mentioning that, since mid-April, the industrial economy has shown signs of a positive trend. The second week of April saw a two-week reduction in industrial power consumption and a steady recovery in the index of industrial concentration areas monitored by mobile mail. As the epidemic is brought under control, traffic logistics, improved production cycles and, in particular, continued efforts to reduce taxes and fees and to assist enterprises in their efforts to reduce poverty will help to boost business confidence, improve business operations and promote the sustainable recovery of industrial production in the next phase. There has been a significant decline in catering consumption. In April, social retail sales of consumer goods totalled $294.83 billion, a decrease of 11.1 per cent from the previous year, an increase of 7.6 percentage points from March. Of this amount, retail sales of consumer goods, other than automobiles, decreased by 2,691.6 billion, or 8.4 per cent. According to China, the chief macroanalyst of the GCC securities, consumption remains a weak link in economic recovery. This aspect is linked to the outbreak’s perturbation and, on the other hand, will be affected by employment and income among the population. In terms of total consumption, the main feature of the month of April was that non-essential and catering sales were more affected by the epidemic, which reduced the growth in total retail sales of social consumer goods. During the month of April, merchandise retail sales fell by 9.7 per cent on a year-on-year basis and catering revenues by 22.7 per cent. Regionally, retail sales of consumer goods in the Long Triangle and North-East areas above limits, which were more severely affected by the epidemic, fell by more than 30 per cent on a year-on-year basis. “In spite of the decline in market sales, the basic livelihood of the population has been effectively secured, and the sale of related goods has continued to grow. The retail sales of food and food products and beverages, above the April quota, have increased by 10 per cent and 6 per cent, respectively.” The fall in consumption in April was largely affected by the short-term impact of the epidemic. As the epidemic is brought under control, production order is restored to normal conditions, and depressed consumption is gradually released. Since mid-April, the country’s epidemic has been on the decline as a whole, with a gradual improvement in Shanghai and Gilling’s epidemic, contributing to the creation of a suitable consumer environment. At the same time, macroeconomic stabilization and increased support for stable employment will guarantee the population’s ability to consume, together with the effectiveness of policies to promote consumption, and the country’s recovery in consumption is expected to continue. Capital investment has fallen short of expectations Between January and April, the country's fixed-asset investment (excluding farm households) grew by 15,354.4 million yuan, a 6.8 per cent increase over the same period, a reduction of 2.5 percentage points over the quarter. Investment in infrastructure (excluding electricity, heat, gas and water production and supply) increased by 6.5 per cent over the same period and by 2.0 percentage points over the quarter. Of this, investments in water management increased by 12.0 per cent, investment in public facilities management by 7.1 per cent, investment in road transport by 0.4 per cent and investment in rail transport by 7.0 per cent. Since the beginning of the year, capital investment has played a “barrel” role in stabilizing economic growth as a result of a steady growth policy at the national level. But the recovery in capital investment has fallen short of expectations in the face of pressure from a complex and volatile economy, as a result of the current multiple epidemics, the intensification of the Russian-Ukraine conflict, global inflation, and the rise in uncertainty and instability in the environment in which the Fed is operating. As a “barometer” for capital investment, the volume of excavators dropped by 47.3 per cent in April on a year-on-year basis, and the lack of effective start-up was more pronounced owing to repeated outbreaks and limited logistical transport, thus delaying the sale of engineering machinery. As the impact of the epidemic subsides and the resumption of work progresses, the director of the Institute of Episcopal Finance said that the business situation of the private sector was improving, investment incentives would be raised again, leading to faster growth in manufacturing investment, and real estate investment was likely to end at the end of the second quarter, leading to a steady upturn in fixed-asset investment. It has been emphasized that investment will continue to play a positive role and that investment in infrastructure and manufacturing is strongly supported. Since the beginning of the year, the issuance and use of earmarked debt has accelerated, and financial resources available for infrastructure investment have become more adequate. At the same time, owing to the epidemic, some manufacturing firms have experienced increased production difficulties, but policies to promote steady growth in the industrial economy have been put in place in various sectors in all regions, and major manufacturing investment projects have been launched. The implementation of large-scale value-added tax (VAT) credits has also contributed to confidence-building in enterprises and has been supported by growth in manufacturing investment.

Note: This is a translated version of the Chinese news media article. A mature and nuanced reading is suggested.

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