Shanghai’s economy grew steadily at the beginning of the year but retreated in March due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The city’s gross domestic product exceeded 1 trillion yuan (US$153.8 billion) in the first three months, up 3.1 percent year on year (calculated at comparable prices), according to the city’s statistics bureau.

The growth pace was 1.6 percentage points slower than a year earlier, as a result of the sudden COVID-19 resurgence in March.

Among them, value-added output of the secondary industry grew 2.4 percent, which was 0.5 percentage points slower. The added value of the tertiary industry rose 3.3 percent, with the growth pace falling back 2.2 percentage points.

In the first three months, value-added industrial production in the city rose 3.9 percent from a year earlier. The figure in January-February advanced 11.9 percent while that in March fell 10.9 percent on year.

Of the 35 major industrial sectors, production in 12 sectors expanded.

Of these, the computer, communication and other electronic equipment manufacturing sectors led the growth with output value soaring 27.5 percent, followed by the automobile industry’s 18.4 percent output gain.

Strategic emerging industries still bounded ahead. In the first quarter, the total output of the city’s strategic emerging industrial sectors topped 392 billion yuan, up 13.7 percent year on year and was 8.9 percentage points faster than the overall growth in industrial output.

Growth in digital economy

Production of new-energy vehicles and new-generation information technology shot up by 98.2 percent and 28.9 percent, respectively.

The bureau noted that growth in the digital economy continued to gain momentum.

Between January and February, the city’s information transmission, software and information technology services posted an annual increase in business income of 21.3 percent. In the first quarter, the added value of this sector grew 10.3 percent from a year earlier, pulling overall economic growth up by 0.9 percentage points.

Online retail sales also continued to rise, running to 99.88 billion yuan, up 18.4 percent from a year earlier, accounting for 22.8 percent of the total retail sales of consumer goods.

Foreign investment went well in general, with the city’s total import and export of goods totaling 1.01 trillion yuan in January-March, up 14.6 percent year on year. Of this total, export soared 23.8 percent to 413.5 billion yuan, while import grew 8.9 percent to 594.37 billion yuan.

Foreign direct investment actually reached US$6.63 billion, jumping 17.8 percent from the same period last year, which was 6.3 percentage points faster than a year earlier.

Household income maintained stable growth. The number of newly added jobs in the three-month period, however, shrank by 26,200 from a year earlier to 192,600.

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