China's Statistics Bureau issues May Outlook

On May 16th, China's National Bureau of Statistics released its latest economic data. The country’s industrial output, an important economic indicator, slowed by 2.9 percent in April from a year earlier, after a 5 percent increase in March. The figure increased by 4 percent in the first four months of 2022 year on year, however it was 2.5 percentage points lower than that in the January-March period.


Manufacturing output increased by 3.2 percent, while production and supply of electricity, heat, gas, and water increased 5 percent. The value-added output of the high-tech manufacturing sector grew by 11.5 percent year on year.


During the January-April period, mining output recorded year on year growth of 10.4 percent, the fastest among the three major industrial sectors.


The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index stood at 47.4 percent and the Production and Operation Expectation Index was 53.3 percent in April.


April retail sales contracted by 11.1 percent year on year, and further shrinking after a 3.5 percent drop the previous month.


Investment in fixed assets (excluding rural households) reached RMB 15,354 billion, growing by 6.8 percent year on year, down by 2.5 percent compared to the first quarter. The investment in high-tech industry grew by 22.0 percent, of which the investment in high-tech manufacturing and high-tech services grew by 25.9 percent and 13.2 percent respectively.


Imports and exports of goods continued to grow in the first four months of 2022, the total value of imports and exports of goods was RMB 12,580 billion, up by 7.9 percent year on year. The value of exports was RMB 6,967 billion, up by 10.3 percent, and the value of imports was RMB 5,612 billion, up by 5.0 percent. The imports and exports of general trade accounted for 63.6 percent of the total value of the imports and exports, 1.9 percent points higher than the same period of the previous year.


Overall, the economic performance in April was greatly affected by COVID-19 pandemic, especially on the manufacturing sector, but investment and exports still maintained a good level.


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