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China Quarterly Economic Data Q1 2024

China Quarterly Economic Data

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China’s economy has demonstrated greater resilience than initially anticipated at the start of the year, primarily driven by strong growth in the high-tech manufacturing sector. According to the National Bureau of Statistics’ report released on Tuesday, the gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 5.3% in the first quarter compared to the same period last year, surpassing economists’ expectations of 4.6% growth.

China GDP Q 1 2024

Sheng Laiyun, spokesperson for the NBS, emphasized during a press conference in Beijing that the positive performance in the first quarter lays a strong foundation for meeting annual objectives. However, he cautioned that challenges persist in stabilizing and enhancing economic conditions.

Below we provide a brief overview of some of the highlights announced in China’s 2024 Q1 statistics

Stable unemployment rate

In the first quarter, the urban surveyed unemployment rate averaged 5.2%, showing a decline of 0.3% compared to the same period last year. Specifically, in March, the surveyed unemployment rate in urban areas decreased to 5.2%, marking a 0.1% reduction from both the previous month and the same month last year.

Unemployment rate Q1 2024

Imports and Exports Experienced Stable Growth

During the first quarter, the total worth of goods imported and exported amounted to 10,16 trillion yuan, marking a 5% increase compared to the previous year.

China’s Export value in Q1 totaled 5.74 trillion yuan, rising by 4.9%, while import value reached 4,43 trillion yuan, experiencing a 5% increase. This resulted in a trade surplus of 1,36 trillion yuan. Private enterprises contributed significantly, with their imports and exports growing by 10.7% and accounting for 54.3% of the total trade value.

Purchasing Manager Index

The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) is a key indicator used to predict and track macroeconomic trends, specifically focusing on activities like production, purchasing, and logistics in enterprises. The composite index reflects changes in output levels for both manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors. A PMI above 50 indicates expansion, while below 50 signals economic contraction.

In March, China’s manufacturing industry saw its Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rise to 50.8%, marking a notable increase of 1.7% compared to the previous month. This surpassed the threshold and signified a rebound in the overall climate of China’s manufacturing sector.

PMI China 2024

Fast growth seen in the value of industrial enterprises

In the first quarter, the total value added of industrial enterprises above the designated size experienced a noteworthy 6.1% year-on-year growth.

Industrial Production China

An increase was also seen in specific sectors, such as mining and manufacturing, while the production and supply of electricity, thermal power, gas, and water also experienced an increase. Notably, high-tech manufacturing exhibited robust growth, with a 7.5% increase, marking a 2.6% acceleration compared to the fourth quarter of 2023.

Total retail sales of consumer goods

During the first quarter, total retail sales of consumer goods amounted to 12 trillion yuan, reflecting a year-on-year increase of 4.7%. In the same period, national retail sales online reached 3.3 trillion yuan, which is a 12.4% increase year-on-year.

Retail Sales China

Positive signs for the year ahead

Based on the data from the first quarter, the Chinese government holds an optimistic outlook for China’s economic growth this year. Key objectives include increasing domestic demand and consumption, enhancing high-tech manufacturing, and stabilizing foreign trade relations.