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News Analysis: Robust yuan points to market confidence in Chinese economy
Xinhua| 2019-02-25 01:00:50
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The Chinese yuan (CNY) has sharply appreciated against the greenback in the past week, wrapping up Friday's trade with a high of 6.71 per U.S. dollar and notching the largest weekly gains since Jan. 11.

Analysts and industry insiders believed that market optimism across the board on potential progress to be made in China-U.S. trade relations, as well as the long-term resilience of the Chinese economy, has fueled the yuan's rally to pick up steam during the week.

MARKET OPTIMISM ON U.S-CHINA TRADE RELATIONS

A principal driver for the yuan hinged on upbeat market expectations and constant updates on this week's trade talks between China and the United States.

The yuan started to rise on Monday, after the two sides agreed on Feb. 15 to hold a new round of economic and trade talks in Washington in the past week following the meeting in the previous week in Beijing, which both sides said had led to some progress.

"An important factor explaining the recent CNY appreciation is the increased market confidence on U.S.-China trade talks and the prospects of a trade truce between both countries," Alejo Czerwonko, emerging markets strategist at UBS Global Wealth Management, told Xinhua.

Investors and traders have turned into a risk-on sentiment, as hopes for easing the lingering trade tensions boosted their appetite for riskier assets.

That has at the margin reduced demand for the U.S. dollar as a safe-haven currency. A weaker dollar has also underpinned the yuan's strength over the week.

Ben Randol, a senior foreign exchange strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, also believed that the global foreign exchange (FX) market and other asset classes have recently been "infused with optimism about a U.S.-China trade deal," which has led to a declining tendency in the dollar.

"The more positive progress on U.S.-China trade policy is perceived to be, the more strength we see in traditionally riskier currencies, such as AUD, as well as the currencies of more economically open economies, such as the euro," Randol told Xinhua.

The Australian dollar (AUD), widely regarded as a barometer of global risk sentiment, extended marked gains against the greenback for three days during the week, i.e. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, ending the final trading day at 0.7133 per dollar, a sharp increase of 0.75 percent from the previous day.

Some analysts cautioned that a disruption to the trade relationship between China and the United States would roil international economies.

"The trade negotiation between the Unites States and China has a direct influence on the currency markets," said Anthony Minardo, vice president and FX trader for Bank Leumi USA. "There will be a massive increase in currency volatility and large revaluations of global currencies (in case of deterioration of trade tensions)."

DOVISH FED PRESSURING GREENBACK

Trade optimism has not been the only relevant factors behind year-to-date FX moves. As global FX markets have already priced in a series of positive updates regarding trade, other drivers tend to be longer term and are likely to play a growing role looking ahead.

The overall dovish tone by the U.S. Federal Reserve has recently added pressure on the dollar, causing the yuan to strengthen, as the market has already factored in the slowdown in future rate paths, experts said.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, has been sliding on a downward path for four trading days of the past week, except Thursday.

"The dollar index has turned lower since the start of the week due to one major reason, the Fed has continued to become more dovish with respect to interest rates in the United States and the pace going forward," Minardo told Xinhua.

"The overall consensus is for rates to remain on hold for the short to medium term and as a result the market has sold the dollar," he added.

The central bank pledged a "patient and flexible" approach to future policy tightening moves, as a way to "manage risks while assessing incoming information bearing on the economic outlook," according to its latest meeting minutes released on Wednesday.

The Fed has decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 2.25 to 2.5 percent, said the minutes of the Jan. 29-30 policy meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the monetary policy arm of the Fed system.

"Participants pointed to a variety of considerations that supported a patient approach to monetary policy at this juncture as an appropriate step in managing various risks and uncertainties in the outlook," the minutes said.

These details are dovish in nature and point to the greenback experiencing a gradual depreciation in the coming months, on the back of "signs of slower economic activity," according to Czerwonko, the UBS strategist.

"January's minutes reveal that several FOMC participants were of the view that no more hiking this cycle would be necessary unless inflation were to exceed expectations," said Czerwonko.

Echoing his concerns, BlackRock Investment Institute pointed out in a latest report that the U.S. economic expansion is shifting into "a late-cycle phase" of the business cycle, the final phase before a downturn, as fiscal and monetary stimulus is dissipating while the impact of protracted trade tensions is biting back.

"We assess that it will enter the late-cycle phase at sometime in the first half of this year," Elga Bartsch, chief economist at the institute, said Thursday while briefing the report themed the global economy and 2019 outlook.

She noted that the projection was based on analyzing a wide range of U.S. economic variables, including a slowdown in growth, gradually increase in wage inflation, the employment rate being below the natural rate, credit ratio and the savings behavior of the private sector.

OUTLOOK FOR TURNAROUND IN CHINESE ECONOMY

Asked about the recent yuan appreciation, Bartsch talked about one factor that could help support the Chinese currency in a long term, as she believed exchange rates pick up much different information and are always based on a relative basis.

"One thing that might help explain the pattern is the fact that we now know Chinese assets will be included in a number of indices in the not so distant future," Bartsch told Xinhua. "Some of that should support the Chinese markets and create some inflows into Chinese assets."

International financial information provider Bloomberg will include Chinese yuan-denominated government and policy bank securities into Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Index, starting in April, enabling further opening up of China's bonds market, the company confirmed on Jan. 31.

Chinese bonds will become the fourth largest currency component, following the U.S. dollar, euro and Japanese yen, after full inclusion.

China's bonds market stood at about 86 trillion yuan (about 12.84 trillion U.S. dollars) by the end of 2018, with about 1.8 trillion yuan (about 270 billion U.S. dollars) held by global investors, up 46 percent year on year.

"We see that the Chinese government is taking very decisive steps to stimulate the economy, both on the fiscal policy side, and on the monetary and financial policy side," said Bartsch.

"In our view, it's just a question of time until this will start to show in the economic data," she noted.

Although they held China's economic growth seemed to be decelerating at the moment, researchers at BlackRock believed there would be a turnaround in the Chinese economy with a modest growth re-acceleration.

"The Chinese economy looks likely to regain its footing in the first half of 2019," said the outlook report co-authored by Bartsch, as policymakers in China have started to moved toward policy easing with efforts to provide economic stimulus while limit financial leverage.

More specifically, Bartsch mentioned two main measures, i.e. fiscal policy impulse coming through major tax relief measures to boost revenues, and credit impulse to change credit flows with a clear focus on more channels toward small and medium-sized companies than state-owned enterprises.

BlackRock also expected the People's Bank of China, or China's central bank, to ease its liquidity provisions, so as to avoid stoking capital outflows and putting pressure on the yuan exchange rate.
 
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China Focus: Searching for new economic engines for China
Xinhua| 2019-02-26 13:47:56
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Like birds pecking at grain, a dozen robotic arms pressed components onto a POS machine, checked its functions and packed it into a box under the supervision of a human worker. Next to the robots, it took over 60 workers to assemble the same device, used to process card and mobile payments.

The two juxtaposed assembly lines at the Kingtronics factory offer a glimpse into the robotic revolution sweeping eastern China's Fujian Province. Like China's other coastal regions, rising labor costs and dwindling foreign orders are galvanizing labor-intensive factories into actions.

Instead of shrinking production, Kingtronics chose to deploy more robots, a strategy that not only raised the company's profits but also allowed the Hong Kong-invested firm to expand its business by designing and selling automatic equipment to manufacturers that cannot afford imported robots.

"We anticipate a market that has no boundaries, as many medium- and small-sized enterprises welcome automated solutions," said Henry C. Tseng, chairman of the company in the city of Zhangzhou.

Defying the current economic downtrend to register robust growth, Kingtronics and many other private firms point to the microeconomic tenacity of China as it struggles with an economic slowdown and uncertainties posed by trade friction with the United States.

About three years after China initiated the supply-side reform to restructure and upgrade its industries, economists say new momentum is emerging from the transitional labor, bolstering confidence for the "two sessions" that will outline China's development in 2019, a "key year" in its goal to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

As the annual sessions of China's national legislature and political advisory body in early March move to identify new engines to turbocharge the world's second-largest economy, how to help such market players tide over the tumultuous transition period is also a heated topic.

REWARDS OF CHANGE

During a State Council meeting in January, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said the country's development faces a more complicated environment this year, with growing challenges and downward pressure on the economy.

China's economy grew 6.6 percent in 2018, above the official target of around 6.5 percent, but lower than the 6.8-percent growth registered in 2017.

Apart from the threats of rising protectionism abroad, officials and experts also point to flaws in the domestic economy, including an oversupply of low-end products and lack of innovation. This year's "two sessions," where the government work report for 2019 will be released, are expected to renew calls for deepening the supply-side reform to move the industry up the value chain.

"Traditional export-oriented companies faced considerable difficulties during the industrial transformation in 2018," said Huang Maoxing, an economics professor at Fujian Normal University. "But after the twinge, a rebound is almost certain in 2019 thanks to new momentum accumulated in the transition."

The transition Huang referred to is now the order of the day across China. In provincial-level "two sessions" that preceded the national event, a majority of Chinese provinces lowered their GDP growth targets for 2019 and stressed high-quality development with promises to nurture new industries and upgrade traditional ones.

Fujian, known for its booming electronics and garment industries, has seen more and more factories embracing automation, leading to a 16-fold increase of imported industrial robots in the first 10 months of 2018.

In north China's Shanxi, coal firms are switching to new energy and new materials as the coal-rich province cut redundant capacities. In the past three years, Shanxi phased out 88.4 million tonnes of coal capacities but sped up new energy development, including extraction of coal-bed methane that now accounts for over 90 percent of the national total.

One firm, Shanxi Uni-moon Green Paper, is reaping early rewards from the clean energy transition. The subsidiary of a coal enterprise has developed a technology to manufacture paper out of gangue, a coal-production waste. By producing an annual 120,000 tonnes of such "stone paper," the company estimates it will save 2.4 million trees.

Despite the temporary loss of GDP tempo, Yan Linhu, deputy general manager of the company, spoke highly of the industry's move towards a healthier development model featuring a higher input of innovation. "The coal industry is under a lot of stress, but it's a positive sign that all companies are seeking changes," he said.

Chinese cities are also weighing in on the wave of transformation with supportive policies. Chongqing, a production base for cars and laptops in southwest China, is luring in developers of big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and industrial robots to revitalize its manufacturing sector.

In 2017, the municipality ended a 15-year streak of double-digit growth after its GDP growth slowed to 9.3 percent, which further dropped to 6 percent last year, as a saturated domestic car market dragged down the city's auto output.

Seeking a change, the Chongqing government in 2018 inked an agreement to house Alibaba's regional headquarters, hoping to benefit from the internet giant's cloud computing and AI prowess. It followed another deal between the city and Tencent, another tech heavyweight, to cooperate on big data and smart technologies.

Data has revealed signs that such efforts are paying off, according to Yi Xiaoguang, director of the Chongqing Institute of Comprehensive Economic Research, who points to a quadrupled increase in the contribution of high-tech industries to Chongqing's industrial output in 2018.

"It shows the new growth engines are gaining steam, and in due course, will rise to become the new economic pillars," Yi said.

MARKET CONFIDENCE

Other good news for China's economy will come from the unified foreign investment law, which will be discussed during the "two sessions." Once adopted, it will help foster a more favorable business environment and attract more foreign investment.

The domestic market is expanding and remains strong. In 2018, China's goods consumption gained 9 percent to 38 trillion yuan (5.66 trillion U. S. dollars), continuing to serve as the biggest growth driver, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

Furthermore, the infrastructure boom along the Belt and Road in recent years has brought many emerging markets closer to domestic producers as they seek to offset uncertainties in Western markets.

Panpan Foods, a major supplier of packaged pastries and puffed food in Fujian, testifies to the consumption upgrade in China driven by the rising purchasing power.

"In the past, Chinese consumers favored larger-sized pastries sold at lower prices, but now people don't mind spending more on food with better taste and quality," said Panpan CEO Cai Jinchai. "Young Chinese today consume packaged snacks mainly to feel good and stay healthy."

Cai said the consumers' hunt for premium foods is driving the company to diversify its products, come up with new tastes, and team up with Japanese experts to develop "short shelf-life" snacks welcomed by health-savvy shoppers. It is also foraying into the profitable market of assorted nuts, hailed by white-collar consumers as a "brain food."

According to a report by Bain & Company and Kantar Worldpanel, Chinese households' spending on fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), or non-durable goods such as packaged foods and shampoos, is expected to rise 5 percent in 2018, showing that the trade tensions had a minimal impact on China's consumer market.

The industrial market also bodes well for Chinese manufacturers that climb up the innovation ladder, said Deng Xiaojun, assistant to the chairman of Datong Reciprocity Group, a Fujian-based manufacturer of industrial valves that is breaking into the global market of cryogenic valves.

"The economic slowdown in recent years had a minimal impact on our company. As long as we have innovative products, there will always be market demand," said Deng, whose company just inked a 200-million-dollar supply deal with a Mexican oil firm.

Deng hoped that the upcoming "two sessions" would focus on the financial woes of private companies as they work on reform and innovation. In particular, many small and medium enterprises faced challenges in obtaining bank loans, he noted.

A slate of supportive policies were rolled out following last year's "two sessions" that called for reducing taxes and other burdens for enterprises. China is estimated to have saved 1.3 trillion yuan for market entities in 2018. Tseng, Kingtronics chairman, believes such policies are essential for China's real economy to prosper.

"Pushing for innovation in the manufacturing sector always involves a lot of risks. Small firms, in particular, have to overcome many financial and technological hurdles, so they need strong government support," Tseng said.
 
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Economic Watch: China's employment stable as race for talent begins
Xinhua| 2019-02-26 16:18:43
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As China's tech companies continue to grow, so too does their demand for qualified employees.

JD.com, a leading online retailer, announced plans Monday to recruit around 15,000 new staff this year, with the bulk of the total, around 10,000 positions as workers and first-line managers, for its logistics arm. The rest of the job offers will be for its retail sales and other subsidiaries.

Retail, logistics and digital technology have taken shape as the core businesses of the internet giant.

At the end of the third quarter of 2018, JD.com boasted a 170,000-strong staff and a huge supply-chain network, which led to tens of millions of jobs in outsourcing and third-party online stores.

Likewise, e-commerce company Alibaba, which owns China's largest web-based shopping platform, last week pledged no layoffs in 2019. Instead, it will continue to recruit new staff, ramp up training programs and utilize more platform resources to help create more jobs.

"This year we will not lay off employees, but will greatly utilize the Alibaba platform to stimulate consumption and generate more orders for the manufacturing and services sectors instead," Alibaba's CEO Daniel Zhang said at an internal meeting Thursday.

The moves come as an encouraging sign for the country's job market and have helped mitigate worries about decreasing job opportunities in the internet sector spreading on social media.

In fact, as a prolonged economic slowdown cast a shadow on China's employment situation, businesses in vigorous and promising emerging industries, in particular services and high-technology, have turned to job creation.

Analysts said the tertiary industry, accounting for over half of China's GDP last year, has served as the ballast stone for a stable job market as services, mainly labor-intensive sectors, are more effective in creating new job opportunities than the traditional secondary industry.

"Every percentage point of the country's GDP growth is translated into more new jobs," said Wu Ge, chief economist of Changjiang Securities, citing statistics in recent years.

Thanks to sprouting new business models and industries, labor demand increased in an unprecedented pace in sectors including e-commerce, online entertainment, finance, and smart manufacturing, as well as web-based ride-hailing and food delivery.

Ji Xiaochen, founder of Beijing Moviebook Technology, a digital media company, worked until midnight on the just-finished Spring Festival holiday, busy revising business plans.

"It is very fortunate for our company to meet the expansion period of artificial intelligence (AI), and we aim to double our staff this year," the People's Daily quoted Ji as saying.

Alibaba also said a number of new occupations, like trainers for AI customer service staff, engineers for its cloud computing business and shopping guides for its new retail business, have emerged on the platform. The total staff number of Alibaba Group and its financial services affiliate Ant Financial exceeded 100,000 for the first time.

The overall jobs-to-applicants ratio in China stood at 1:27 in the fourth quarter of last year, indicating robust demand, data from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security showed.

The data also showed the private sector played a major part in propping up employment with faster staff growth, and more migrant workers preferred central and western regions.

China's policymakers attach great importance to employment, which, along with consumer prices, is an area that directly affects everyday life and determines the health and prospects of the economy.

An array of measures were rolled out to ensure a stable job market, including insurance payment rebate for employers, government subsidies on skills training, and bigger tax cuts. Favorable policies were also given to people setting up their own businesses.

"From central authorities to local governments, the pro-employment measures have gathered concentrated efforts and ensured stable employment," said Mo Rong, vice president of the Chinese Academy of Labour and Social Security.

About 13.61 million new jobs were created in urban areas last year, hitting 123.7 percent of the annual target, a record high. The figure has stayed above 13 million for six consecutive years.

Major indicators remained tame. The registered unemployment rate came in at 3.8 percent at the end of last year, the lowest in more than a decade, and the surveyed rate was at around 5 percent, lower than the 5.5-percent pre-set target.

Given steady economic performance and rapidly-growing new growth drivers, China is confident in and capable of handling all kinds of risks and challenges and realizing more higher quality employment, said Meng Wei, a spokesperson of the National Development and Reform Commission.
 
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14:57, 27-Feb-2019
Hurun Report: China's wealthiest hit hard by 2018 stock, currency slump
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Almost a quarter of China's richest people fell off the Hurun Global Rich List of billionaires in 2018, a record amount whose decline coincided with big declines in mainland stocks.

Over 200 Chinese billionaires did not figure in the latest rankings, which were unveiled Tuesday in Beijing, pushing the total number of billionaires living in China down from 819 to 658.

China, which has topped the Hurun Global Rich List since 2016 for its total number of billionaires, created 52 new entries on the list last year.

One of the most impressive new names was Huang Zheng, CEO of e-commerce platform Pinduoduo, who became the fastest person ever to accumulate 10 billion U.S. dollars' of wealth from scratch.

Pinduoduo listed in the U.S. last year at a valuation of 30 billion U.S. dollars. Huang, 39 years old, is worth 15 billion U.S. dollars, just three years after establishing the company.

Alibaba founder Ma Yun extended his lead at the top of the China rich list, increasing his fortune by 22 percent to 39 billion U.S. dollars, making him the world's 22nd richest man.

Hurun Report Chairman Rupert Hoogewerf said, "a 23 percent drop in the Chinese stock markets coupled with a six percent drop in the Chinese yuan were the main causes of the dropoffs in China."

Among China's 10 richest people, Ma Yun was the only billionaire to see his fortune increase in 2018.

Tencent founder Ma Huateng saw his personal wealth fall 19 percent, while Wang Jianlin, the chief executive of Wanda Group and China's richest man just two years ago, saw his personal fortune fall by 37 percent to 17 billion U.S. dollars.

Worldwide, a record 430 billionaires dropped off the Hurun Rich List, with 2,470 known billionaires led by Amazon's Jeff Bezos, the world's richest man. His personal fortune hit 147 billion U.S. dollars last year, with Bezos amassing 100 billion U.S. dollars in just three years.

Beijing remains the world's billionaire capital for the fourth year running, with 103 residents making the list. Beijing has 28 fewer billionaires than it did last year, but still eleven more than second-placed New York.

Eighty-five of the billionaires on the list are aged 40 or under, while 15.5 percent of them are women.

China continues to lead in terms of self-made billionaires, with 74 percent of its names on the list making their own fortunes with no parental support.
 
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Economic Watch: February PMI data show growing optimism on China's economy
Xinhua| 2019-02-28 16:04:18
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Fresh snapshots of China's manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors showed a more positive outlook on the economy despite a seasonal dip in factory activities.

Official data released on Thursday showed China's manufacturing sector expanded at a slower pace in February.

The country's manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) came in at 49.2 in February, narrowing from 49.5 in January, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below reflects contraction.

The sub-index for production, a major factor used in calculating PMI, edged down 1.4 points to 49.5 in February, while the sub-index for new orders rose to 50.6, an indication of expansion.

NBS senior statistician Zhao Qinghe attributed the monthly decline in the manufacturing PMI to seasonal factors including production halts around the Chinese Lunar New Year.

Zhao also noted the growing strength of new sources of growth, as the sub-index for production of the high-tech manufacturing sector continued to rise.

Activities of hi-tech enterprises in the sectors of pharmaceutical manufacturing and communication equipment showed above-average vitality, Zhao said.

Commenting on the February manufacturing PMI data, investment banking firm CICC said China's domestic demand is showing signs of recovery.

"Deflationary pressure receded in February, and production and business expectations rebounded visibly," CICC said.

Thursday's data showed a four-month high reading of 56.2 for the production and operation expectations index, a marked rise of 3.7 points from January.

"Manufacturing PMI may rebound in the near term if the moderately reflationary credit cycle sustains," CICC said.

The non-manufacturing purchasing managers' index came in at 54.3 this month, which means the non-manufacturing sector remained within the expansion range, according to the NBS.

Indices for sectors including railway and air transport, telecom, banking and leasing stood above 55, indicating robust business growth.

Market sentiment is improving as sub-indices for new orders and business expectation picked up by 0.3 and 1.8 points respectively from January, indicating growing service demands, the NBS said.

The construction sector saw its activities shrink due to the Spring Festival holiday and bad weather but is likely to pick up the pace in the future as data shows rising business expectations.
 
May 1, 2018
Mar 18, 2018
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Travelers put on a Chinese government social 'blacklist' for violating travel rules or severe credit default now find themselves potentially being banned from taking trains or flights for up to one year, according to new rules which have come into effect as of May 1

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By the end of 2018, China had issued 17.46 million bans on individuals with bad social credit from taking flights and 5.47 million bans on taking high-speed train, according to the Supreme People's Court of China on Wed.

 
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Factbox: China's economic and social progress in 2018
Xinhua| 2019-03-01 18:31:25
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Under the backdrop of complex and severe international environment, China achieved stable economic and social development last year and made solid progress in reform and opening-up.

Here are some related facts and figures from the National Bureau of Statistics:

-- GDP grew 6.6 percent year on year to hit 90.03 trillion yuan (about 13.46 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2018. Per capita GDP hit 64,644 yuan.

-- New economic drivers continued to grow, with the tertiary industry accounting for 52.2 percent of GDP. Consumer spending contributed 76.2 percent to GDP growth.

-- Of the nearly 1.4 billion population on the Chinese mainland, 59.58 percent were urban residents, up 1.06 percentage points from the previous year.

-- A total of 13.61 million jobs were created in urban areas, up 100,000 from the previous year.

-- Rural residents living below the national poverty line dropped to 16.6 million, down by 13.86 million year on year. The proportion of poor population dipped to 1.7 percent.

-- Per capita disposable income of rural residents in poverty-stricken areas stood at 10,371 yuan, a 10.6-percent year-on-year rise.

-- Grain output totaled 657.89 million tons. Cotton output was 6.1 million tons, and production of pork, beef, mutton and poultry stood at 85.17 million tons.

-- Construction of about 5.11 million homes was completed under the shantytown rebuilding program, and 1.57 million rural dilapidated houses were renovated.

-- Civil vehicle ownership amounted to 240.28 million units as of the end of the last year, up 10.5 percent year on year.

-- Foreign exchange reserves were 3.07 trillion U.S. dollars as of the end of last year. The Chinese yuan's average exchange rate strengthened 2 percent to 6.6174 against the U.S. dollar.

-- Total goods exports and imports reached 30.5 trillion yuan, up 9.7 percent year on year. Services trade also saw robust growth of 11.5 percent to 5.24 trillion yuan.

-- The number of new foreign-funded companies on the Chinese mainland, excluding those in banking, securities and insurance sectors, jumped 69.8 percent to 60,553, and foreign direct investment totaled 885.6 billion yuan.

-- Outbound non-financial investment came in at 797.4 billion yuan, of which those going to countries along the Belt and Road rose 8.9 percent year on year.

-- Tax revenue rose 8.3 percent to 15.64 trillion yuan.

-- M2, a broad measure of money supply that covers cash in circulation and all deposits, rose 8.1 percent.

-- The research and development expenditures increased 11.6 percent to over 1.96 trillion yuan, accounting for 2.18 percent of GDP. Patent applications amounted to 4.32 million, up 16.9 percent.

-- The number of space launches came at 38, including China's Chang'e-4 probe making the first-ever soft landing on moon's far side. The BeiDou Navigation Satellite System started providing global service.

-- A total of 161.99 million outbound trips were made by Chinese people, up 13.5 percent.

-- The new afforestation area was 7.07 million hectares, and there were 474 national nature reserves at the end of 2018.

-- The consumption of clean energy accounted for 22.1 percent of total energy consumption, up 1.3 percentage points year on year. The use of coal dropped to 59 percent from 60.4 percent.
 

Hendrik_2000

Brigadier
a good report card and all indication shows China is progressing in all front AND Per capita income is 64600/6.6=9780 close to $10000. The UN entry point for wealthy nation is $12000/yr So assuming China grow by 6.6% per year China should become a moderately wealthy nation in 3 years time close to Xi prediction that China enter moderately wealthy country by 2020 with the caveat that ther is no war So China should keep her cool and not respond to provocation. Time is on China side

Anyway on different plane Chinese transportation was put to the test during last Chinese new year rush and it passed with flying color Amazing achievement 3 billion travel with NOT A SINGLE ACCIDENT

China's 40-day
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travel rush, which concluded Friday, witnessed 2.98 billion passenger trips, according to official data



The number of Chinese internet users hit 829M at the end of 2018, up 7.3 pct on the previous year, according to China Internet Network Information Center. Nearly all, or 98.6 pct of the total, used smartphones to access the internet, with short video platform users reaching 648M.

 
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