Key economic indicators for August show the Chinese economy continued to slow in expansion but held steady in reforms, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Liu Aihua, a spokeswoman for the NBS, said at a press conference Thursday that in the first eight months of this year, China's economic growth was maintained in a reasonable range, structural adjustments were continuously deepened and quality and efficiency kept improving.
She summarized the characteristics of China's economy in five aspects:
1. Steady growth
China's value-added industrial output grew 6.7 percent year-on-year in the January-August period, 0.7 percentage point higher than the growth rate over the same period last year, according to the NBS.
In August, the value-added industrial output increased by 6 percent year-on-year, keeping a relatively rapid growth.
The service sector production index increased 8.3 percent year-on-year in the January-August period, up 0.2 percentage point from the same period last year.
It rose 8.3 percent year-on-year in August, up 0.9 percentage point from the same month last year.
On the demand side, retail sales grew 10.4 percent year-on-year in the January-August period, 0.1 percentage point higher than the same period last year.
Investment growth was steady, with fixed asset investment rising 7.8 percent year-on-year in the January-August period and investment into areas of weakness maintaining a relatively sound growth.
In addition, China's imports and exports kept two-digit rates of growth.
2. Improving employment
The surveyed unemployment rate was stable, under 5 percent in 31 cities in August, registered lower than last month.
The average weekly working hours of industrial enterprises in August saw a slight increase from last month — 0.07 hour.
In the January-August period, a total of 9.74 million jobs were created in urban areas, an increase of 260,000 from the same period last year.
3. Mild price increases
The consumer price index of the country rose mildly in August. The index saw a year-on-year growth of 1.8 percent and a month-on-month increase of 0.4 percent in August.
The rate of increase is relatively mild compared with the same period in previous years and with other major world economies.
4. Optimized structure
Looking at growth in terms of industrial structure, high-tech industries continue to maintain rapid growth while growth in high energy-consuming manufacturing slowed down. In August, the value added from high-tech industries increased 12.9 percent year-on-year, 0.8 percentage point higher than the previous month, while the growth of high energy-consuming manufacturing was 2.9 percent, down 0.4 percentage point.
In terms of demand structure, the sales of upgraded consumer goods witnessed double digit growth. In August, the sales of sports and recreational articles increased 14.9 percent year-on-year and sales of communication products increased 12.2 percent year-on-year.
The investment structure optimized more markedly. In the first eight months, investment into high-tech sectors jumped 19.5 percent. Investment in the technological upgrading of the manufacturing sector increased 11.4 percent year-on-year, faster than last month's growth.
Investment in infrastructure and areas of weakness grew rapidly. From January to August, investment in infrastructure increased 19.8 percent year-on-year, and investment in areas of weakness such as eco-environmental protection, public utility and road transport industries all increased more than 20 percent.
5. Rise in profits
Profits of industrial enterprises above a designated size continue to increase. In the January-July period, total profits made by industrial enterprises above a designated size was up by 21.2 percent year-on-year, 14.3 percentage points higher than the same period last year.
Operating profits of the service industry continued to grow rapidly. In the first seven months, profits made by the service industry have increased 22.6 percent year-on-year, 6.6 percentage points faster than the first half of year.
Fiscal revenue kept relatively fast growth. In the January-August period, revenue in the general public budgets increased 9.8 percent year-on-year, accelerating faster than the first six months of this year.