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ECONOMY: Consumption is maintaining steady degrees
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Consumption is maintaining steady degrees

By Anthony Lawry

BT 201707 ECONOMY 02
      过去每年有全国购物狂欢日“双十一”,今年又出现了年中大抢购的”6•18”, 除了电商的热炒和营销手段外,真正拉动市场热度的还是消费者的需求本身。目前,随着家用电器等耐用消费品消费的上浮,餐饮业等行业消费也呈现大幅上涨趋势。不过汽车销量同比下降了0.1个百分点,娱乐产业统计显示,中国电影票房销售额为39亿元人民币,接近去年平均水平。

      虽然消费维持在稳定水平,但工业企业发展正在放缓。渣打银行的制造业指数显示为51.2,是去年8月份以来首次下滑。而中纪委在批评吉林和内蒙古地方官员存在的问题时也指出两省的一些地区或企业有数据造假行为。

      出口方面则显示出利好趋势,较前一个月增长了8.7%,达到了1910亿美元。这个数字远远高出了预期的7.2%。此外,路透社有关贸易和工业的数据显示,第二季度的经济增长整体呈良好态势,避免了急剧下滑的趋势。经济分析师还指出,中国全年经济增长将高出政府原先预估的6.5%的增长预期,整体而言,国内消费水平保持稳定。

BT 201707 ECONOMY 01
While data from the People’s Republic of China recently submitted is expected to indicate that industrials are slowing down and consumption is maintaining steady degrees, reports have also indicated that two provinces, Inner Mongolia and Jilin, were found to have faked their economic data by China’s anti-graft watchdog the Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection without indicating which figures were faked.
 

BT 201707 ECONOMY 03The expected economic data indicates that retail sales rose by 10.7% from a year prior for the second month in May. The data also suggests that factory output rose by 6.4% in comparison to last year’s April factory output of 6.5% growth. Furthermore, the data shows that fix-asset investment growth in cities slightly decreased to 8.8% in the first five months of the year down from 8.9%.
 

Economic analysts are also pointing to a full-year worth of growth to be higher than what the government expects at its modest expectation of 6.5% gross domestic product growth. This is largely a result of an increase in global trade and global economic activity which will also be higher than previously expected during the beginning of the year when the 6.5% growth expectation was announced. Bloomberg reported that this was also the result of central authorities increasing regulations to reduce the risk of financial volatility to China’s financial system in the wake of increased losses in several of China’s stock indices. The Bloomberg analysts asserted the effect of this was an increase in libor rates, or the interest rates that banks give to other banks when loaning each other money. This would likely weigh down on the country’s credit liquidity.

hl economyAll of these aforementioned macro-economic considerations likely held down a large degree of growth in the overall economy where private surveys of corporate firms following China indicated an overall softening of the economy. Standard Chartered Plc’s Small and Medium Enterprise Confidence Index fell to 56.9 in May from 58 in April, and a sales managers index from London-based research firm World Economics slipped to a six-month low. This accounted for public and privately owned factories.
 

On the factory-related data, a popularly followed manufacturing gauge from Standard Chartered Plc. showed that their manufacturing gauge held at 51.2 for the second straight month in May, but had seen a low of before 50 during the month. This showed that the manufacturing industry had slipped for the first time since August 2016.
 

BT 201707 ECONOMY 04Meanwhile, the consumption in the restaurant and food industry rose significantly in conjunction with a rise in consumer durables such as home appliances. JD Finance’s in-house gauge, spending for consumers rose in clothing, cosmetics, furniture, sports-related goods, and food and drinks all rose for the month, but slightly. Vehicle sales fell 0.1% from a year earlier last month, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, compared with a 2.2% decline the prior month. Box office sales held up at 3.9 billion yuan ($574 billion), near the average level over the past year, according to entertainment researcher EntGroup.
 

Meanwhile, exports grew in comparison to a month prior by 8.7% up to $191 billion USD for the month. This was much higher than the anticipated number of 7.2% in exports increase from a yea prior. Furthermore, a Reuters poll of indicators from trade and industrial output to loans and property investment, is expected to show that overall economic growth held up nicely into the second quarter, defying worries of a sharp slowdown.
 

As for the faked economic data, this is not the first time provinces have been targeted by the anti-graft watchdog. Earlier this year, Liaoning province, which actually borders Jilin province in the northeast of the country, admitted to faking economic data from 2011 to 2014. Interestingly enough, Jinlin province, which borders North Korea, had the second slowest amount of growth of all Chinese provinces this year so far. Its GDP output is about half of that of Beijing’s. This is also the case of Inner Mongolia as well which has less economic output than the Middle Kingdom’s capital. Because of this information, it is difficult to gauge exactly what degree economic data is now being shrouded in confusion. But because of the very insignificant levels of growth in the provinces as it is, the impact is probably extremely low in China’s overall macroeconomic picture.
 

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