City saw steady growth in 2018, but autos weigh

Shanghai's GDP growth dropped to 6.6 percent in 2018 from 6.9 percent in 2017, still well within analysts' forecasts as the country's economy slows.

Shanghai's economy grew steadily in 2018 expanding 6.6 percent from a year earlier to 3.27 trillion yuan (US$480.2 billion), the Shanghai Statistics Bureau said yesterday.

The city’s GDP growth cooled from 6.9 percent in 2017 but still remained within the expected range. The pace was the same as the overall national figure released on Monday.

“The city’s economic conditions in 2018 remained steady generally,” Tang Huihao, deputy director of the bureau, told reporters yesterday.

“The data showed the city’s trend of strong economic dynamism and resilience and its higher quality of economic development.”

The services sector led growth with an increase of 8.7 percent to 2.28 trillion yuan, accounting for 69.9 percent of the city’s GDP — 0.7 percentage points higher than the year before. The manufacturing sector rose 1.8 percent while agricultural industries fell 6.9 percent.

Value-added industrial output, an important economic indicator, rose 1.9 percent to 869.49 billion yuan, retreating from the rapid growth of 6.4 percent in 2017.

The city’s overall industrial output of designated large enterprises — with annual turnover of at least 20 million yuan — edged up 1.3 percent to 3.28 trillion yuan, far slower than the 6.8 percent growth in 2017.

Tang pointed out that the slowdown was mainly due to the cooling automobile industry which played a significantly less supportive role in industrial growth.

“Since the second half of 2018, under the increasing downward pressure on the macro-economy and the suspension of preferential purchase tax policies, passenger car production and sales continued to weaken. The city’s auto manufacturing growth rate dropped significantly, becoming the main reason for the slower industrial output growth,” Tang said.

Of the city’s six key industrial sectors, complete equipment manufacturing rose 4.8 percent year on year and biomedical production jumped 9.8 percent. The output of the automobile manufacturing and electronic information products manufacturing sectors also rose, up 0.8 percent and 1.9 percent.

High-quality steel manufacturing and petrochemical and fine chemicals, however, posted declines in outputs by 6.5 percent and 1.5 percent respectively from the previous year.

The output of strategic emerging manufacturing industries rose 3.8 percent to 1.06 trillion yuan, 2.4 percentage points faster than the pace of the city’s overall industrial output.

Biomedical sector jumped 9.8 percent, new generation Internet technology rose 5.8 percent and high-end equipment production increased 5.7 percent.

New-energy automobiles, new energy, and energy conservation and environmental protection were up by 5.4 percent, 2.5 percent and 2.1 percent respectively, as the government focuses more on environmental issues, Tang said.

The city’s total imports and export of goods in 2018 rose 5.5 percent from the year before to 3.4 trillion yuan. In particular, exports increased 4.2 percent and imports advanced 6.4 percent, the bureau said.

Fixed-asset investment rose 5.2 percent year on year, down 2.1 percentage points from 2017.

Private investment grew 8.6 percent to account for 38.7 percent of total FAI.

City saw steady growth in 2018, but autos weigh
Shen Xinyi / SHINE
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