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Facts and Figures: Key Indicators of China's Economic Performance in 2009 and Previous Years
Jan 21,2010 12:41CST
data analysis

BEIJING, Jan. 21 -- China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Thursday released several key economic indicators for 2009, which indicated the world's third largest economy was consolidating and broadening its recovery.

These key figures included gross domestic product (GDP), industrial added value, consumer price index (CPI), fixed-asset investment and retail sales. The following are details of these figures in 2009 and previous years.


According to the NBS, China's GDP rose 8.7 percent in 2009 to reach 33.53 trillion yuan (about 4.91 trillion U.S. dollars).

Such a growth rate went beyond the target set by the Chinese government in March 2009, when Premier Wen Jiabao told the National People's Congress (NPC), the country's top legislature, that China's economy would grow at an annual rate of around eight percent for the past year.

The Chinese government has long believed that a GDP growth of eight percent is essential to create enough jobs.

The country's GDP grew 6.1 percent in the first quarter of 2009, 7.9 percent in the second quarter, 8.9 percent in the third quarter and 10.7 percent in the fourth quarter.

China's GDP now stands very close to that of Japan, the world's second largest economy only after the United States. In 2008, Japan's GDP stood at 4.9 trillion U.S. dollars. The Japanese economy contracted amid the global downturn last year, but the Japanese yen has been rising against the greenback since last year. Japan has not yet released its GDP for last year.

The Chinese economy has grown fast in the last few years, with the GDP soaring about 147 percent from 13.58 trillion yuan in 2003 to 33.53 trillion yuan in 2009.

The annual growth rates of China's GDP between 2003 and 2008 were 10 percent in 2003, 10.1 percent in 2004, 10.4 percent in 2005, 11.6 percent in 2006, 13 percent in 2007 and 9.6 percent in 2008, respectively, according to the NBS.


According to the NBS, China's industrial added value rose 11 percent in 2009 from a year earlier.

China's industrial added value grew 5.1 percent in the first quarter of last year, 9.1 percent in the second quarter, 12.4 percent in the third quarter, and 18 percent in the fourth quarter.

In nine years between 2001 and 2009, the annual growth rates of China's industrial added value were 9.9 percent in 2001, 12.6 percent in 2002, 17 percent in 2003, 16.7 percent in 2004, 16.4 percent in 2005, 16.6 percent in 2006, 18.5 percent in 2007, 12.9 percent in 2008, and 11 percent in 2009.

China uses the industrial added value to measure the business activities of some 430,000 designated large enterprises each with an annual turnover of at least 5 million yuan.

The industrial added value is a most important indicator to weigh China's industrial activities and the country's manufacturing-based economy.

The industrial output accounted for 43 percent of China's total GDP in 2008 and contributed 42.8 percent to the GDP growth in the same year, Minister of Industry and Information Technology Li Yizhong said last November.


The Consumer Price Index (CPI), the main gauge of inflation, had been rising since 2003 until 2009 when the readings fell for nine consecutive months because of the global financial crisis.

According to the NBS, the CPI fell 0.7 percent for the full year in 2009.

The monthly CPI readings in 2009 was 1.0 percent rise in January, 1.6 percent drop in February, 1.2 percent drop in March, 1.5 percent decline in April, 1.4 percent decline in May, 1.7 percent decline in June, 1.8 percent decline in July, 1.2 percent decline in August, 0.8 percent decline in September, 0.5 percent decline in October, 0.6 percent rise in November, and 1.9 percent increase in December.

In seven years between 2002 and 2008, China's CPI readings were 0.8 percent drop in 2002, 1.2 percent rise in 2003, 3.9 percent rise in 2004, 1.8 percent rise in 2005, 1.5 percent rise in 2006, 4.8 percent rise in 2007 and 5.9 percent rise in 2008, respectively.


Fixed asset investment is what is used to purchase and build factories, machines, property, and other fixed facilities. It has been the main driver of China's double-digit growth in the past several decades.

According to NBS, China's fixed asset investment jumped 30.1 percent in 2009 to nearly 22.5 trillion yuan.

Urban fixed asset investment climbed 30.5 percent in 2009 to 19.4 trillion yuan.

In four years between 2005 and 2008, the annual growth rates of China's fixed asset investment were 27.2 percent in 2005, 24.5 percent in 2006, 25.8 percent in 2007, and 26.4 percent in 2008, respectively.


The retail sales, along with investment and exports, has been one of the three main drivers for China's rapid economic growth.

According to the NBS, China's retail sales rose inflation-adjusted 16.9 percent year on year in 2009.

In four years between 2005 and 2008, China's retail sales jumped from 6.72 trillion yuan in 2005 to 10.85 trillion yuan in 2008. The annual growth rates of the four years were 12.9 percent in 2005, 13.7 percent in 2006, 16.8 percent in 2007 and 21.6 percent in 2008, respectively.


On Jan. 10, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) had released figures of China's foreign trade in 2009.

Last year, China's exports in 2009 stood at 1.2 trillion U.S. dollars, down 16 percent from 2008, and imports reached 1.01 trillion U.S. dollars, down 11.2 percent from a year earlier, said the GAC.

In total, China's foreign trade in 2009 dropped 13.9 percent from a year earlier to 2.21 trillion U.S. dollars and its trade surplus last year slid 34.2 percent year on year to 196.1 billion U.S. dollars.


FDI, or foreign direct investment, is a measurement of foreign ownership of productive assets, such as factories and machines. It indicates a country's ability to attract investment from other countries.

On Jan. 15, Spokesman of the Ministry of Commerce Yao Jian said China had attracted 90.03 billion U.S. dollars in foreign direct investment in 2009, down 2.6 percent from that in 2008.

The Chinese government had approved the establishment of 23,435 overseas-funded ventures in 2009, down 14.8 percent from a year earlier, he said.

The FDI figures between 2006 and 2008 are as follows:

In 2006, the number of new foreign-invested companies dropped 5.76 percent to 41,485, and inflow of FDI dropped 4.06 percent year on year to 69.47 billion U.S. dollars.

In 2007, the number of new companies dropped 8.69 percent to 37,888, and inflow of FDI rose 13.8 percent to 82.66 billion U.S. dollars.

In 2008, the number of new companies dropped 27.35 percent to 27,514, and inflow of FDI rose 23.58 percent to 92.40 billion U.S. dollars.



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