On July 17th, the report card for the national economy in the first half of the year has been released. The data shows that the country's gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 5.5% year-on-year in the first half, with a growth rate of 6.3% in the second quarter. What does this 5.5% growth rate mean on a global scale?
The data indicate that the 5.5% growth rate is significantly higher than the 3% economic growth rate recorded for the previous year, and it surpasses the average annual growth rate of 4.5% during the three years of the pandemic. It is a relatively high-quality growth rate.
Amidst the global economic slowdown this year, China has maintained relatively fast economic growth, providing crucial support to global economic development. Recently, major international organizations have raised their global economic growth expectations, which are significantly influenced by the recovery of the Chinese economy.
The 5.5% economic growth represents an improvement in structure and optimization of momentum. With regard to demand, economic growth has shifted from being primarily driven by investment and exports last year to being driven by consumption and investment this year. Notably, consumer spending has made a significant contribution to economic growth, accounting for over 70% in the first half of this year.
In terms of production, economic growth has shifted from being primarily driven by the industrial sector last year to a joint effort by the service industry and the industrial sector, with a substantial increase in the contribution of the service industry. In the first half of the year, the contribution of the service industry to economic growth exceeded 60%.
The 5.5% economic growth represents growth driven by innovation, transformation of development patterns, high-level opening-up, and optimization of trade structure. The data shows that in the first half of the year, investment in high-tech industries increased by 12.5% year-on-year, the value added of information transmission, software, and information technology services grew by 12.9%, and online retail sales of physical goods increased by 10.8%.
In the first half of the year, China's total import and export of goods increased by 2.1% year-on-year, with the proportion of general trade imports and exports, which have higher added value, rising to 65.5% of the total. This indicates a positive trend towards a diversified trade structure.
The 5.5% economic growth represents growth that expands employment and improves people's livelihoods. Since the beginning of this year, the overall surveyed urban unemployment rate in China has been declining, reaching 5.2% in June, which is close to the pre-pandemic level. The improvement in employment has led to an increase in residents' income. In the first half of the year, the disposable income per capita across the country grew by 5.8%, showing a significant acceleration compared to the previous year.
It is worth noting that the 5.5% economic growth also signifies consolidation in food and energy security. Among them, the total output of summer grain reached 146.13 million tons, the second-highest in history.