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.

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