China’s MoC Reports Q1-Q3 Commercial Performance

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Nov. 8 – China’s Ministry of Commerce (MoC) held a regular press conference on October 19 in which the ministry’s press spokesman, Shen Danyang, talked about China’s commercial performance over the first three quarters of 2012.

Firstly, regarding the domestic market, there has been an increase of 11.6 percent (excluding the influence of price) in the gross amount of retail sales of consumer goods over the first three quarters of 2012, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics. This represents growth that is 0.3 percent faster than the same period last year.

Shen presented five factors responsible for these results:

  • Consumption levels in rural areas accelerated in the first three quarters.
  • There was steady growth within large and medium-sized distribution firms over the first three quarters.
  • Sales of furniture, building materials and decorating materials are reporting a steady recovery. Due to the Energy Saving Subsidy Policy, there were also increases in electrical household appliance industries and cultural and sports education industries.
  • Holidays (i.e. the Mid-Autumn Festival and the National Holiday) created a surge in consumption resulting in the rapid growth of related industries.
  • The price of major edible agricultural products stayed stable.

Secondly, in the aspect of foreign trade, according to the statistics provided by the General Administration of Customs, the gross amount of exports and imports increased by a respective 7.4 percent and 4.8 percent over the first three quarters of this year when compared to the same period last year. Additionally, the trade surplus was 38.5 percent larger than that of 2011.

Four key features were presented as follows:

  • China recorded steady growth in trade volumes with the United States and other trade partners, but trade with the European Union and Japan has decreased.
  • The export volumes of China’s central and western regions continue to catch up with the coastal areas, while export growth in the eastern areas has slowed.
  • General trade continued to increase on an even keel. Processing trade had a much lower growth rate.
  • The export of electromechanical products increased smoothly. In addition, the export of labor-intensive products presented some recovery.

Thirdly, concerning the absorption of foreign investment, there were 18,025 newly established foreign-invested enterprises from January to September, which is 11.7 percent less than the number recorded over the corresponding period last year. The actual use of foreign capital over this period was US$83.42 billion, which dropped 3.8 percent compared to the number last year.

Some major features are shown below:

  • The actual use of foreign capital by service industries was 1.6 percent more than that of last year, apart from the influence of real estate industries, which had a decrease of 5.62 percent. For the first three quarters of this year, service industries used US$39.48 billion of foreign capital, which accounted for 47 percent of the national total. Wholesaling and retailing industries (up 6.7 percent), construction industries (up 27.8 percent), and information transmission computer services and software industries (up 32.8 percent) all saw a rapid increase in foreign capital use. The agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and fishery industries had a decrease of 10.3 percent of foreign capital utilizing. Manufacturing industries had an actual use of foreign capital of US$36.95 billion, which was 7.5 percent below that of the corresponding period last year, and constituted 44.3 percent of the total usage nationwide.
  • There was a minor drop in the total amount of foreign investment into China made by developed countries. The 27 countries of the European Union invested US$4.83 billion into China, which is 6.3 percent lower than that of last year. The United States invested US$2.37 billion and Japan invested US$5.62 billion in China, which represents a 0.62 percent decrease and a 17 percent increase, respectively.
  • The growth of actual foreign capital use stayed strong in Central China. A growth rate of 16.5 percent occurred in the area, whereas both East China and West China had less access to foreign capital from January to September this year.

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