Q1 GDP performance shows steady progress of China's economy: official
Official stats showed that China's economy grew by 6.4 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, matching the growth rate recorded in the fourth quarter of last year.
Mao Shengyong with the national statistics bureau said the figure shows the steady progress of China's economy.
"The national economy enjoyed a stable performance with positive growth factors and stronger market expectations and confidence, sustaining the momentum of progress in overall stability. According to the preliminary estimation, China's GDP was 21.34 trillion yuan, about 3.18 trillion U.S. dollars, in the first quarter. That represents an increase of 6.4 percent year-on-year, but 0.4 percentage points lower than the same period last year and 0.2 percentage points lower than 2018," Mao said.
The data suggests consumption has played a prominent role in driving growth.
Containers are stacked at the fully automated container terminal at a port in Taicang city, east China's Jiangsu province, 19 March 2019. [Photo: IC]
Growth was also recorded in investment and foreign trade in the first three months of the year.
"Consumption contributed more than 60 percent of the economic growth, and it keeps upgrading. In terms of the investment structure, overall investment continues to recover. Investment in technological upgrading, high-tech industries, the social sector, and some weak areas has maintained a relatively fast growth. These have all added momentum to future development. In foreign trade, the proportion of imports and exports in general trade rose by 1.3 percentage points year-on-year," Mao added.
Throughout the first quarter, the employment rate remained stable with the number of newly created urban jobs reaching almost 30 percent of the annual target.
People's income also grew, with per capita disposable income increasing by 6.8 percent year-on-year, outpacing the growth in GDP.
Authorities attribute the growth in China's economy to the policies of reform and opening up as well as tax cuts.
Meantime, spokesman Mao Shengyong suggested steps be taken to prevent internal and external risks from impacting economy stability.
"Generally speaking, the national economy performed within an appropriate range in the first quarter, which laid a sound foundation for stable and healthy economic development for the whole year. However, at the same time we should also be aware that, given slowing global economic growth and international trade, increasing international uncertainties, and prominent domestic structural issues, the task of reform and development is arduous and economic pressure still persists," Mao said.
Days ago, the International Monetary Fund adjusted its expectations for China's annual GDP growth from 6.2 to 6.3 percent.
Meantime, some global investment banks also expect growth in China to recover this year.