Shanghai's GDP rose by 6 percent in 2019

Yuan Luhang
The services sector led Shanghai's economic growth last year, according to data from the city statistics bureau, while the disposable income of its residents was up by 8.2 percent.
Yuan Luhang

Shanghai’s economy continued to show signs of strength last year, despite challenges at home and abroad, according to the city’s statistics bureau.

Gross domestic product for 2019 reached 3.82 trillion yuan (US$550 billion), an increase of 6 percent, the bureau said on Tuesday.

The services sector led the growth with an increase of 8.2 percent, and added value of 2.78 billion yuan.

The portion of the tertiary sector in the overall GDP continued to expand, accounting for 72.7 percent of the overall economy, 1.8 percentage points more than the previous year.

Tang Huihao, head of the Shanghai Bureau of Statistics, said: “With downward pressure rising, Shanghai sustained overall stability and steady progress, and the 6 percent growth achieved by Shanghai was no easy feat.”

The city’s overall per-capita disposable income reached 69,442 yuan last year, up 8.2 percent. Among urban residents, per-capita disposable income was 73,615 yuan, also up by 8.2 percent. For rural residents, per-capita disposable income was 33,195 yuan, up by 9.3 percent, with the latter growing faster than the former for the eighth consecutive year.

Tang said the increase of per-capita disposable income was driven by salary income, which accounts for nearly 60 percent of total income, pulling the income up 4.5 percentage points.

Tang added that the increase of disposal income had benefited from four factors — steady progress of the city’s economy, cuts in personal tax, and rises in both minimum salaries and pensions.

Retail sales of consumer goods rose 6.5 percent year on year, reaching 1.34 trillion yuan.

Last year, the city rolled out policies to promote consumption, such as optimizing supply, hosting China Brand Day, promoting duty free shopping and the nighttime economy.

Upgraded consumption was the most obvious feature of the city’s consumer goods market. Goods related to upgrading increased at the fastest pace. Cosmetics, one such kind of goods, grew by 21.8 percent, pushing retail sales of total consumer goods up 1.2 percentage points. 

Clothing and shoes expanded by 20.8 percent, helping total sales rise 0.9 percentage points. Online sales increased by 15.8 percent, accounting for 14.1 percent of sales of consumer goods.

Last year, almost a thousand new brands set up stores in Shanghai, enabling the city to lead the nation in this respect.

Fixed-asset investment increased 5.1 percent year on year in 2019, 0.3 percentage points faster than in the previous three quarters.

Industrial investment grew at its fastest pace of 11.3 percent, maintaining two-digit growth for 21 consecutive months.

Tang said: “Investment structure continued improving, benefited from significant projects in automobile, bio-medicine, petrochemical industry and electronics and information industry.”

Real estate investment expanded by 4.9 percent, 0.9 percentage points faster than the previous three quarters. Infrastructure investment narrowed the decline by 3 percentage points, falling 2.6 percent.

Total city imports and exports reached 3.4 trillion yuan, expanded by 0.1 percent year on year. Exports grew by 0.4 percent, reaching 1.37 trillion yuan, while imports declined 0.1 percent.

The European Union is still Shanghai’s biggest trading partner, with imports and exports reaching 0.73 trillion yuan, expanding by 2.9 percent.

For the first time, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations surpassed the US to become the city's second largest trading partner, with imports and exports up 11.3 percent to 0.47 trillion yuan.

Meanwhile, imports and exports to countries and regions along the Belt and Road initiative grew by 7.2 percent year on year.

Foreign investment projects totalled 6,800, expanding 21.5 percent. The amount of contractual and paid-in foreign capital grew by 7.1 and 10.1 percent respectively.

The consumer’s price index increased by 2.5 percent, up 0.3 percentage points compared with the previous three quarters.

Revenue in the general public budget rose by 0.8 percent despite a substantial reduction of over 202.2 billion yuan in taxes and administrative charges, which affected the local revenue growth rate by 11 percentage points.

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