Category Archives: GDP

Foshan bounces back

Foshan’s economy is gaining steam, with GDP bouncing back over the course of this year after a slowdown in 2018. The GBA’s fourth-biggest economy clocked up a strong 7.1% growth in GDP during the first three quarters of the year, with its major industries driving the recovery while output in financial services continues to surge. This was up on Q2’s 6.9% and Q1’s 6.7%.

GDP of RMB 793.179 billion was held up by manufacturing, at RMB 460.593 billion, up 6.7% YoY. Financial services jumped 11%.

Trade was relatively stable, although still weighed down by the US-China trade war. Exports came in at RMB 280.77 billion, up 4.9%; imports were RMB 81.83 billion, up 4.6%.  September was particularly strong, with total trade up 21.5% YoY to RMB 44.48 billion. Like its similarly sized neighbour across the Bay, Dongguan, Foshan is seeing strong growth in cross-border e-commerce, albeit from a small base of RMB 5.02 billion, up 88% in the first three quarters.

Trade with the US continues to languish, up only 0.4% YoY. But growth in trade with ASEAN (+12.1%) and the European Union (+11.2%) was good. 

Read more.

Guangdong stays above average in Q3

Guangdong’s economy showed resilience in Q3, outperforming the national average, as it has done all year. GDP of RMB 771.192 billion for the year to end-September was up 6.4% YoY, only 0.1 percentage points slower than the first six months of the year. The Q3 number of 6.3% was well above the national 6.0%.

Driving this growth was the services industry. Manufacturing (+4.6%) and agriculture/mining (+3.8%) were stable, but tertiary output (services) was up a strong 7.9%. 

Even better was the outperformance in manufacturing of the private sector, which grew by 7.1%. This was primarily driven by consumer electronics, up 7.5%, and the electrical machinery and equipment manufacturing industry, up 8.2%. Smaller but more promising industries stood out for surging growth: new energy vehicles jumped 76.0%; EMUs (trains) were up 66.7%; and 3D printing equipment soared by 270.8%

Fixed-asset investment continued to grow strongly, up 11.3% in the first three quarters, with infrastructure investment leading at +23.7%. The Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Dongguan Intercity Railway, which opens on November 1, was a key part of this growth.

Retail sales were up 7.8%, the highest growth rate since the beginning of this year. Sales of consumer upgraded goods grew rapidly. 

Trade continued to soften. Exports stayed in positive territory, but slower, at +2.1% YoY growth. Imports fell, but the -4.7% number was slightly better than the previous -5.1%.

Unemployment was 2.16%, down 0.26 percentage points YoY, while per capita disposable income rose 8.7% to RMB 30,755.

Guangzhou outperforms, services lead

Guangzhou’s economy is still growing at a healthy clip, latest official data shows. In the year to end-September, GDP growth of 6.9% was 0.6 percentage points higher than the same period last year, and higher than both the national (6.2%) and the provincial (6.4%) averages. Manufacturing saw its growth rate accelerate by 1.5 percentage points, yet it was the services sector that boosted growth the fastest, up by 5.4 percentage points.

In the first three quarters, the service industry boosted output by 7.9% YoY, driven by the digital economy, with growth in information services rising 17.5%. It has been recording double-digit growth now for 16 consecutive quarters. This is supported by news that the city’s Grade A office vacancy rate fell to a historical low of 3.7% in Q3.

Fixed-asset investment, meanwhile, grew by 21.1%, led by investment in the new energy vehicle industry and railways. Car investment soared 81.7%, thanks to major projects such as Evergrande Smart Car and Baoneng New Energy Vehicle. Infrastructure investment was up 27.6%, with the buildout of Metro Lines 11, 18 and 21 exceeding RMB 2 billion.

In terms of environmental management, the expansion of the sewage treatment plant in Guangzhou, the rectification of river pollution, and the construction of waste treatment facilities have boosted construction budgets. Investment in ecological protection and environmental management has increased by 2.2 times.

On the demand side, consumption growth is relatively stable, with total retail sales up 8.2%. Online stores, which accounted for about 30% of the total, saw sales rise 12.9%. Tourism is booming, too, with revenues up 11.7%, most of which were from visitors coming in from outside the province. “Nighttime consumption” in Guangzhou during the National Day holiday period jumped 12.5%, ranking first among the country’s four first-tier cities.

Huizhou boosts investment to offset falling output

Huizhou’s economy is continuing to slow amid a tough external environment, but rising investment levels are cushioning the economy, according to official data.

Industrial output continued to fall from January to August , with growth among enterprises above designated size rising only 0.7% YoY, down 1.5 percentage points from the Jan-Jul period. Electronics and petrochemicals, the two big guns, were down -1.6% and -4.5%, respectively, which was slower than the Jan-Jul period by 1.1 and 2.5 percentage points, respectively.

However, fixed-asset investment growth accelerated. From January to August , it shot up 15.1% , 2.7 percentage points faster than the Jan-Jul period, and 12.1 percentage points faster YoY. Industrial investment grew 15.8%; infrastructure investment jumped 24.5%; and real estate investment jumped 20.4%.

Total retail sales rose 7.6% , but this was down 1 percentage point from the first half of the year. Vehicle sales were a major drag, falling -3.2% , down 4.3 percentage points from the first half of the year. Home appliances were up 7.9% , but this was a steep drop of 13 percentage points from the first half.

Biomeds, appliances keep Zhuhai growing

Zhuhai’s economy kept growing in August, despite a slowdown in its traditional industries, as the twin pillars of biomedicine and home appliances continued their recent surge.

From January to August, according to official data, industrial production (above designated size) was up 4% to RMB 71.713 billion, flat over the Jan-Jul period. The biomedical industry and the household electrical appliance industry maintained double-digit growth, at 18.3% and 16.0%, respectively. City leaders are likely thankful: the petrochemical industry and the power and energy industry, by contrast, barely grew, by 2.6% and 1.5%, respectively. A bright spot was high-tech enterprises, which rose 5.8%.

Fixed-asset investment is proving anemic. In January to August, at RMB120.474 billion, it was up just 2.2%, probably because the Hengqin Railway Line is nearing completion and there are few other major infrastructure projects with shovels in the ground. Industrial investment, however, shone: at RMB 17.653 billion, it was up 18.0%, a jump of 12 percentage points. 

Retail sales held up, though they weren’t stellar, at RMB 81.737 billion, up 5.7%. Sales related to tourism rose fastest, with accommodation up 7.7% and catering up 10.7%.

Guangzhou: upgrading continues

The provincial capital is continuing to restructure its economy amid a slowdown in foreign trade, which is having a knock-on effect on the manufacturing sector. Services are growing robustly, investment is surging, and retail sales are holding steady, latest official economic data shows.

Continue reading Guangzhou: upgrading continues

China sees sharp drop in August; still waiting for Guangdong

The Chinese economy slowed sharply in August, preliminary data shows. Although trade data has not yet been released, output and investment are both down significantly, sending stocks lower on regional indices. (Trade is likely to be worse, if recent trends are a guide.)

Guangdong, meanwhile, has yet to release its full GDP data for July, let alone August. One can only presume that it is taking the National Bureau of Statistics a bit longer than normal to verify the provincial data from around the country. That, or there is growing sensitivity about their release that requires further internal debate and clarification. 

Continue reading China sees sharp drop in August; still waiting for Guangdong

Lam unmoved by Li’s ode to the downtrodden

Li Ka-shing, Hong Kong’s richest man, can’t seem to get an audience with the Chief Executive. How else is one to understand his public plea for the protesters to be “given a chance”? Unless, of course, the billionaire was aiming his comments at the public and had no need of a meeting with the person who has the power to to address #3 on the protesters’ list. That is possible. But why might the 91-year-old retiree feel the need to feel the protesters’ pain? Or rather, why now, rather than at any time over the past 22 years since the handover, a time in which he has, along with his fellow oligarchs, steadily reduced their living space, held their wages stagnant, and raised their cost of food?

In any case, the plea seems to have fallen on deaf ears. CE Carrie Lam chose today to focus on other more pressing issues. Read the SCMP’s wrap here.

Would Hong Kong be ‘destroyed’ by US bill?

After another weekend of mayhem in Hong Kong, during which the Central MTR station was set on fire, it was heartwarming to see schoolkids today lined up, holding hands, as a reminder that most of Hong Kong’s protesters are peaceful. Junius Ho, legislator and apparent supporter of the White Shirts, may not like it, but if this is the way all the protests can be held, Hong Kong has a better future ahead.

Continue reading Would Hong Kong be ‘destroyed’ by US bill?

Guangdong: It’s what comes next that counts

A closer look at data comparing the Greater Bay Area to the rest of the country might give cause for concern: although the economy here is growing faster than the national average, it is largely due to rising investment levels rather than industrial output (i.e., we are spending more than we are making). 

Guangdong’s manufacturing output saw a steep drop (well, steep by Chinese standards) in Q2 as the trade war began to bite.


It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why. The province’s industrial machine has for decades been heavily geared toward foreign trade. Now, exports and imports are falling here at a rate faster than the national average because Guangdong is more exposed to the loss of demand from its traditional trading partner. 

However, none of this should come as a surprise, and it should not be cause for alarm, either.

Continue reading Guangdong: It’s what comes next that counts