Guangdong’s economy is holding up amid the US-China trade war, although the worst effects of the most recent tariffs and blacklisting actions have not yet shown up in official statistics. In the four months to the end of April – just before the trade conflict went from genteel to gloves-off – GDP growth came in at 6.6% YoY, no change from the January-March quarter. This was despite near-stagnant growth in foreign trade, up just 0.8%. Retail sales (+6.7%) and industrial output (+5.1%) stayed steady, but it was the fourth pillar of the economy that kept growth from being weighed down by weak trade: fixed-asset investment was up 11%.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, investment in infrastructure is surging: up 27.3%. That is twice the growth rate of investment in real-estate (+13.3%). Yet while Guangdong is building more roads, ports, and railways (+34%), it is also investing in longer-term projects as well: water production and supply investment doubled (+100%), while ecological protection and environmental management investment increased by 288.8% (no, that is not a ‘lucky’ typo).
Consumers, meanwhile, are showing no signs of going weak at the knees. While sales of communications equipment continued to grow strongly at +15.1% (we will never give up our smart devices), the fastest-growing sector was Chinese and Western medicines, which jumped 18.9%. The authors of the statistical bulletin at the provincial government helpfully pointed out that, “The vigorous development of smart medical care, which is integrated online and offline, has led to a rapid increase in offline physical pharmacies.” WeDoctor, we assume?
Underneath all this remains a foundation that is our biggest source of confidence for Guangdong, and the Greater Bay Area it propels: private-sector participation in the economy continues to grow, with the tech sector in the vanguard. State-owned enterprises chipped in at +3.5%, but private enterprises fueled growth at +8.6%. Technology-intensive industries were up +9.3%.
We reported last week that Macau visitor arrivals surged in April. Today we have fresh data that shows how package tours are leading the charge. A total of 908,000 people wearing baseball caps and led by flag-waving guides visited Macau in April, up 20% YoY. Most were from the mainland, up 22% YoY to 724,000.
However, as the Macau tourism authorities continue to mull a “tourist tax”, it is clear that the city is bursting at the seams. In the first four months, hotels and guesthouses accommodated 4.66 million overnighters, up by just 2.8% YoY. Their average occupancy rate rose by 1.5 percentage points to 91.8%, and the average length of stay stayed at 1.5 nights.
Shenzhen-based tech giant Huawei was kicking the proverbial butt of its chief American competitor in smartphones before the US decided to place it on a blacklist, latest data from tech research firm Gartner shows.
In Q1, Huawei smartphones took 15.7% of the global market, narrowing the lead of #1 maker Samsung (19.2%) and ahead of Apple, whose iPhone slipped further behind in third place (11.9%). Huawei shipped 58.4 million units, up from 40.4 million in Q12017, thanks to growth in Europe (+69%) and Greater China (33%). Apple’s fell by 9.5 million units in the same YoY comparison.
The other two Chinese smartphone manufacturers, Dongguan-based OPPO and Vivo, ranked fourth and fifth, slightly increasing their market share.
Read more (in Chinese).
Shenzhen has just released its latest Economic and Social Development Statistical
Communique, which sheds new light on the city’s development. As is already
Shenzhen’s GDP hit RMB2.4 trillion in 2018, up 7.6%, surpassing Hong Kong.
But it is still RMB846 billion behind Shanghai, a city with a much bigger
population. Shenzhen remains the richest city in the country in per-capita GDP
terms, although its growth in the past five years has been gradually slowing.
Despite Guangdong’s overall imports falling, Shenzhen’s are booming: up
19.4% last year to RMB1.37 trillion. Exports fell slightly, down -1.6% to
Perhaps the most interesting are those related to the tech economy. The
tech sector accounts for more than one third of GDP, led by computing,
telecommunications and electronic manufacturing, and sales were up 9% to
RMB925.4 billion last year.
Not all districts in the city are growing equally. The biggest, Nanshan, saw
its GDP break the RMB500 billion mark, although YoY growth was just 4.5%,
behind Longgang, Longhua, and Pingshan – which were all above 10% – and
As reported previously, Shenzhen attracted 498,300 more permanent residents
last year, ranked number one in China. Here is a collection of other key
budget revenue – taxes plus dividends from SOEs – was RMB353.8 billion, up 6.2%
and more than double Guangzhou’s RMB163.2 billion. The city recorded a deficit
on total expenses of RMB428.25 billion, which were down -6.8%.
saw 228,600 patent applications, and 140,200 were approved, up 29.1% and 48.8%,
saw their profit overall dip -4%, although average worker productivity was up
than 300 million mobile phones and 20,000 robots were produced. New energy
vehicles led sales of all products in terms of YoY growth.
sales rose 8.4% to RMB74.4 billion.
estate investment rose slightly, although completed projects fell by more than
30%, reflecting government restrictions on the market.
savings stand at RMB7.26 trillion, nearly RMB2 trillion more than Guangzhou’s.
average resident is RMB150,000 in debt, while residential mortgages total RMB2
trillion. Residents spent roughly 30% of their salary on mortgages or rent.
transport increased 10% to 1.08 million tonnes, while waterway and railway
arrivals jumped 16.4%, while airport passenger throughput rose 8.2% to 50
million. The metro carried 1.89 trillion passenger-trips, up 14%.
is roughly one car for every fourth resident (3.36 million total).
are more than two mobile phones for every resident (29.78 million total).
are 650 libraries and 50 museums (Guangzhou has only 31), although it only has
139 hospitals. Shenzhen also has 973 parks, having added 31 last year.
a tight land supply, Shenzhen has 59,100 pigs, although this was down -15.7%.