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Friday, January 20, 2017, 14:17

China's economy grows 6.7% in 2016

By Xinhua
China's economy grows 6.7% in 2016
BEIJING - China's economy grew 6.7 percent year on year in 2016, the slowest pace of growth in 26 years but still within the government's target range set for the year , official data showed Friday.

China's economy grew 6.7 percent year on year in 2016, the slowest pace of growth in 26 years but still within the government's target range set for the year

Growth in the fourth quarter came in at 6.8 percent, accelerating from the 6.7-percent rise registered in the third quarter but still the slowest quarterly growth since the global financial crisis, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

Read more: Q&A: What the year has in store

Fixed asset investment

China's fixed-asset investment grew 8.1 percent in 2016 from a year ago, 0.1 percentage points slower than that recorded in the first three quarters, according to NBS data.

China's fixed-asset investment continued to cool in 2016, growing 8.1 percent year on year, down from 10 percent in 2015 and 15.7 percent in 2014, official data showed Friday.

The reading was slightly down from the 8.2 percent growth for the first three quarters, NBS said.

This is the latest step in the continued deceleration of growth in fixed-asset investment: money used to purchase and build factories, machines, property and other fixed facilities.

The figure was among economic data released by the NBS which also showed annual growth of the world's second largest economy had slowed to 6.7 percent for the year, down from 6.9 percent in 2015.

Investment slowdown is believed to be one of the main reasons behind the weakness in demand and the downside pressure on the Chinese economy.

Fixed-asset investment growth has been declining since reaching an annual high of 10.7 percent for Jan.-March.

In the agricultural sector, fixed-asset investment jumped the fastest, up 21.1 percent year on year. It was followed by 10.9 percent growth for the service sector and 3.5 percent for the industrial sector, NBS data showed.

Industrial output

China's industrial output expanded 6 percent year on year in 2016, largely due to strong performance in the high-tech industry, official data showed Friday.

The growth rate was the same as in the first three quarters, official figures showed.

Industrial output, officially called industrial value added, is used to measure the activity of designated large enterprises with annual turnover of at least 20 million yuan (about US$2.9 million).

In December, the total value added of the designated industrial enterprises was up by 6 percent year on year, or 0.46 percent month on month.

Retail sales

At the same time, China's retail sales of consumer goods grew 9.6 percent year on year in 2016 after deducting price factors, the same as that in the first three quarters.

China's retail sales of consumer goods grew 10.4 percent year on year in 2016 , the same as that in the first three quarters, official data showed Friday.

Retail sales grew 9.6 percent year on year after deducting price factors, according to NBS.

Total retail sales of consumer goods hit 33.23 trillion yuan (US$4.84 trillion ) last year.

The data showed strong consumption potential in rural areas, with retail sales expanding 10.9 percent, outpacing the 10.4-percent rate in urban areas.

The NBS said that retails sales of communication equipment and housing goods had grown fast. Sales of communication equipment jumped 11.9 percent year on year, furniture went up 12.7 percent, and building and decoration materials climbed 14 percent.

Online sales boomed last year, surging 26.2 percent year on year to reach 5.16 trillion yuan.

In December, the nominal growth of retail sales was 10.9 percent year on year, slightly higher than the 10.8 percent increase in November.

Retail sales contributed significantly to China's economic growth as the country shifts from an export-driven economy to a consumer society.

Retail sales of consumer goods, a key indicator of consumption, are expected to jump by 10.2 percent year on year to exceed 37 trillion yuan in 2017, contributing more than 70 percent of the country's economic growth, according to a report issued by the China General Chamber of Commerce.

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Also, China's investment in real estate development grew 6.9 percent in 2016 from a year ago, 1.1 percentage points faster than in the first three quarters, and 5.9 percentage points faster than a year earlier, according to NBS data released Friday.

Real estate investment up 6.9%

China's investment in property development gained steam in 2016, as investors continued to start new projects amid surging house prices, official data showed Friday.

Investment in real estate development grew 6.9 percent year on year in 2016, 1.1 percentage points faster than in the first three quarters, and 5.9 percentage points faster than a year earlier.

Factoring in price changes, property investment increased 7.5 percent year on year, the NBS said.

For residential properties, investment rose 6.4 percent year on year, and the floor space of new residential construction expanded 8.7 percent year on year.

Housing sales maintained steady growth. In terms of floor area, property sales jumped 22.5 percent, while in terms of value, sales rose 34.8 percent.

By the end of December, 695.4 million square meters of property remained unsold in China, down 3.2 percent year on year.

P er capita disposable income

China's per capita disposable income stood at 23,821 yuan (US$3,469) in 2016, up 6.3 percent year on year in real terms, official data showed Friday.

The increase was slower than the 7.4 percent rise registered in 2015, as China's economy posted the slowest pace of growth in 26 years in 2016.

Urban and rural per capita disposable income reached 33,616 yuan and 12,363 yuan in 2016, up 5.6 percent and 6.2 percent in real terms, respectively, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

The per capita income of urban households was 2.72 times that of rural households.

The average monthly income of rural migrant workers was 3,275 yuan, up by 6.6 percent year on year, compared with a 7.2 percent increase in 2015.

China aims to double the per capita income of its urban and rural residents by 2020, from 2010 levels, to build a moderately prosperous society.

Separately, urban and rural per capita disposable income reached 33,616 yuan and 12,363 yuan in 2016, up 5.6 percent and 6.2 percent in real terms after deducting price factors, respectively, according to NBS.

Service sector growth

China's service sector accounted for 51.6 percent of GDP in 2016, up 1.4 percentage points year on year, NBS data showed Friday.

The service sector ratio exceeded 50 percent for the first time in 2015. Value added in the service sector increased 7.8 percent year on year to 38.4 trillion yuan (US$5.6 trillion), while growth was 3.3 percent for the primary sector and 6.1 percent for the secondary sector.

Investment in the service sector increased 10.9 percent year on year in 2016 to 34.6 trillion yuan.

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