By He Yin, People’s Daily
China’s GDP grew 4.5 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2023, according to statistics released by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics on April 18.
The sound performance was said to be a solid start of the Chinese economy in 2023 by international community, and the world is confident about China’s long-term economic resilience and vitality. It is believed that China will continue injecting strong impetus into global recovery.
This performance was a hard-won result achieved in an external environment that was volatile and grave.
Since this year, as the country has achieved a smooth transition in COVID-19 response and front-loaded the policies to stabilize growth, employment and commodity price, it has accumulated more positive factors.
Multiple international organizations and investment institutions had lifted their forecast on China’s economic growth this year.
After the Q1 performance was released, global media outlets, seeing the energy and vitality of the Chinese economy, described it with “recovery,” “rebound,” and “prosperity.”
The encouraging momentum of rebound of the Chinese economy has laid a solid foundation for the country to achieve its annual targets. Both Citigroup and Societe Generale have raised their forecast on China’s annual growth since the release of the country’s Q1 performance. This once again indicated the recent remarks by World Bank Group President David Malpass that global growth is expected to be weak this year, but China will be an exception to the slowdown.
Consumption, one of the three major driving forces of China’s economic growth, played a prominent role in the country’s economic development in the first quarter and demonstrated the dynamic internal impetus of the Chinese economy.
China’s retail sales of consumer goods went up 5.8 percent year on year in the first quarter of this year, and the retail sales of services maintained double-digit growth in the same period. Final consumption contributed 66.6 percent to the economic growth, much higher than the whole-year figure in 2022.
The third China International Consumer Products Expo was held recently in south China’s Hainan province. Over 1,000 products under 300 global brands made their debut at the event. It fully proved that to explore the huge potential of the Chinese consumption market is a consensus of global enterprises.
China is witnessing continuous expansion of consumption scenarios, improved consumption expectation, growing market sales and obviously rebounding service consumption. An Associated Press report said that China’s economic growth is accelerating with consumption boost.
A foreign scholar noted that China’s bright economic prospects come from more flexible and higher-quality development.
Since this year, China has actively given play to the key role of investment to drive high-quality development. It expanded investment in key areas and livelihood sectors, and witnessed sound growth in manufacturing investment. In particular, the investment in high-tech manufacturing jumped 15.2 percent.
China’s commitment to high-quality development is mirrored by the country’s growing solar and wind power generating capacity as well as the soaring sales of new energy vehicles, said Chief executive officer Shakeel Ahmad Ramay of the Asian Institute of Eco-civilization Research and Development in Pakistan.
Senior executives of multinational corporations have paid frequent visits to China this year, with many enterprises announcing to expand their investment in China. In the first two months, China’s foreign direct investment, in actual use, reached $40 billion, and the figure is keeping growing.
It has become a broad consensus that advancing with China is advancing with opportunities, and investing in China is investing in the future.
The encouraging momentum of rebound of the Chinese economy has provided more opportunities for the rest of the world.
In the first quarter, China’s foreign trade of goods went up 4.8 percent year on year. In particular, trade with countries along the Belt and Road surged 16.8 percent, while that with other participating countries of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership rose 7.3 percent.
In the same period, China’s outbound shipments of solar batteries, lithium-ion batteries and electric vehicles surged 66.9 percent on a yearly basis. Cross-border e-commerce and other new businesses also saw rapid growth. This well explains the supportive role played by new drivers in the foreign trade sector.
In its latest annual trade statistics and outlook report, the WTO lifted its forecast for global trade growth in 2023 to 1.7 percent from the previous estimate of 1.0 percent, saying China is a “key factor” of this increase and the release of the demand for consumption will promote global trade growth. A Bloomberg report noted that the growth in China’s exports boosted economic prospects and suggested that global growth may be better than expected.
The good start of the Chinese economy this year once again proved that fundamentals of China’s economic growth remain unchanged, and China’s advantages of its large-scale market and complete industrial system remain unchanged.
China has the confidence and ability to sail the giant ship of the Chinese economy steadily ahead against all winds and waves, and make even greater contributions to the global economy.
By He Yin, People’s Daily