Economy gathers steam in East
Major economic indicators have been showing steady signs of recovery in East China, while efforts have been made to navigate the unprecedented difficulties encountered during the COVID-19 outbreak in the first half.
Jiangsu province's first-half GDP increased 0.9 percent year-on-year to 4.67 trillion yuan ($666 billion), a value only behind that of Guangdong province. While agriculture and services both reported growth during the first six months, the secondary industry only shed a slight 0.2 percent year-on-year in terms of decreased value-added growth.
Information technology and finance were the major growth engines in Jiangsu in the first half, with their respective year-on-year value-added growth standing at 13.6 percent and 7.9 percent.
Officials from the Jiangsu Provincial Bureau of Statistics said the positive half-year results did not come easy as Jiangsu's GDP declined by 5 percent from a year earlier during the first quarter. The continued rebound of economic indicators can be largely attributed to the rise of emerging industries and the improving supply and demand situation.
Zhejiang province saw its first-half GDP climb 0.5 percent year-on-year to 2.9 trillion yuan. The high-quality output in GDP growth was one highlight, said the provincial statistics bureau. Value-added growth in the digital-based manufacturing sector grew 9.5 percent year-on-year during the first six months. The high-tech services sector and scientific services sector both reported double-digit growth.
Continued efforts have been made to optimize the province's economic structure. Enterprise investment in technology upgrades rose 6.3 percent year-on-year. The province's total expenditure on research and development also increased 8 percent from a year earlier.
Pan Yigang, chief researcher at the Zhejiang Development and Planning Institute, said that market entities usually demonstrate strong resilience amid uncertainty. They are able to soon find new management methods to adjust to new environments and face new challenges. As services and consumption are two major pillars of Zhejiang's economic development, the full-year economic outlook will be more stable once industries, investment and exports further improve, Pan said.
Anhui province's GDP reached 1.75 trillion yuan in the first half, up 0.7 percent from a year earlier. The growth rate also outperformed the national GDP growth of－1.6 percent in the first half. The agricultural sector reported the most significant annual growth rate of 1.2 percent during the first half.
Xiao Zhiying, spokeswoman of the Anhui Provincial Bureau of Statistics, said that emerging industries had provided the most impetus during the first half. Value-added growth of strategic emerging industries rose 8 percent year-on-year, while online retail sales surged 38.7 percent.
While Shanghai's GDP growth dropped by 2.6 percent year-on-year during the first six months, the decline contracted by 4.1 percentage points compared to first quarter data, mainly offset by positive GDP growth in the second quarter, said the municipal government during a July 21 meeting.
The city's total fixed-asset investment increased 6.7 percent during the first six months, among which manufacturing sector investment maintained a double-digit growth for 10 consecutive quarters.
While the growth rate of foreign investment was as high as 13.9 percent in the first half of 2019, the number climbed another 5.4 percent during the first six months of this year despite the contagion. The financial sector was one major driver of Shanghai's economic growth, with a 7.4 percent value-added growth from a year earlier.
Shanghai's Mayor Gong Zheng said the city's economic development has returned to the right track, with major economic indicators showing positive results. More efforts should be made in the second half to help the recovery of companies' production, boost domestic demand, stabilize overseas market demand as well as deepen reform and opening-up so that Shanghai can play a better role as a strategic link between domestic and international markets, Gong said.