Shanghai economy shows signs of quick recovery

The city's gross domestic product added up to nearly 3.1 trillion yuan in the first three quarters.

Photo from CFP

Photo from CFP

By XIN Yuan


Shanghai's GDP fell 1.4 percent from a year ago in the first three quarters but the drop is smaller than the 5.7 percent last quarter. Consumer spending, investment and industrial output were all recovering. Economists expect growth to accelerate in Q4.

Consumer spending in the first three quarters was 10.7 percent lower than in the same period last year, but the drop is smaller than the 16.1 percent last quarter. Spending on goods is down 9.4 percent year-to-date, although online retail, which makes up 21 percent of total retail, grew 3.1 percent. Hotel and restaurant revenue is down 24.8 percent, versus 33.1 percent as of Q2.

Year-to-date investment is down 8.6 percent. But there are improvements in all major areas in Q3, with the shrinkage in industrial, real estate and infrastructure investments narrowed by 15.2, 8.6 and 14.8 percentage points respectively.

Manufacturing remains strong in Q3. Year-to-date growth in computer, electronics and telecommunication accelerated to 10.8 percent, up by 5.8 percentage points from end of Q2. Car production in the first three quarters has increased by 10.2 percent, almost entirely driven by Q3.

High-tech accounts for 42.5 percent of all industrial output, 0.7 percent higher than last quarter's. EV and information technology have grown by 65.4 percent and 13.8 percent this year. Solar cell and smartphone production also saw more elevated than 50 percent increases.

Imports and exports maintained double-digit growth, with exports by 27.7 percent in Q3. Batteries, cars and electronics are among the best performers. 

From January to August, Shanghai used $US16.3 billion (120 billion yuan) of foreign investment, 8.4 percent more than a year ago. High-tech manufacturing accounted for nearly 20 percent of that.

Nine international train routes were opened this year, bringing the total to 50 with 37,000 tons of cargo capacity.

Financial industry output increased by 6.2 percent this year. Transaction amounts on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the interbank market are up by 10.3 and 29 percent respectively. The information technology sector grew by 6 percent. Sales of the service industry as a whole are up by 4 percent, but leasing is down by 1.6 percent (January to August).

The city added 440,000 new jobs in Q3. As of September, 10.8 million people were employed, 65,000 more than a year ago. Inflation (measured by CPI) was 2.6 percent in September. Disposable income per capita is 59,472 yuan, about flat from last year’s.